It’s one of our places. We walk here. We have been walking here for almost seven years.
When we first moved to our current city about seven years ago, I used to come here and be annoyed. I missed my concrete buildings and my one million neighbors. I like the big big city. The bigger the better and the more to do, see, and experience. I would grudgingly join this family outing because I love my man and he loves him some stuff like this.
I realized when we were walking this past weekend. I now find this pretty. I am not totally sure when I converted, but I have.
I am sure it was sometime around the moment when I really began to stop focusing on what I wanted for my life and began to do What I can, With What I have, With Where I am at. It’s interesting how God works in our hearts when we let Him. Surrender. That darn S word again. It keeps reappearing.
This trail is connected to the most gorgeous of neighborhoods. My doll house came to life and moved in here. I often wonder who lives in this adorableness. I have never seen anyone come and go, but if I did I think I would confess that there has never been a single drive by -by a certain woman in her minivan- that has not ignited a flurry of thoughts of what it would be like to wake up and look out those windows.
This neighborhood reminds me of where I grew up. There are trees here. The rest of our city has very few. In fact, one morning shortly after I moved here and had dropped the older two kids off at school, I drove around looking for cool places in our new city. I found this neighborhood and I literally had to pull over and cry. I was so homesick. Those trees have magical powers. They made me tear.
In the middle of all the fabulousness is a charming neighborhood park. I came here the first week of the first year of homeschool. Again distraught. I may call this the crying neighborhood, now that I think of it.
It makes me all deep in thought, this place.
My thoughts turn towards the fact that this is a Friday. My children are not in school. Where that thought used to make me feel like an escape from Alcatraz artist all of the time, now I hardly think about it. However, I did today. While my kids are roaming through fields in a state of complete freedom, ninety percent of other kids their age are walking the hall of our local schools. These lifestyles really are worlds apart. My kids are so very much oblivious to the way their lives are being shaped by the education choices that we have made for them. Despite the challenges, of which there are many, I am grateful and confident in our decisions.
I had a moment of doubt this past week when I read about Kelle Hampton’s first day of Kindergarten. Despite the fact that I logically know that because I find this woman to be such a brilliant photographer and writer that I am pretty sure that she could get me to buy into just about anything, I did question. Long enough to bring it up to my husband. I told him I would have to figure out what it is that is magical about homeschooling for us. I know that this is what God has for us, but what is the flare and the aha moments that down deep fill our souls. We need to be aware of those.
It didn’t take long. The magic is found in the very fact that God created each person differently and each family differently. Every story has its own beginning, middle, and end. Not a one single one look alike. That is beautiful and this is the beauty for us. Our story. It’s together on a Friday morning, walking a dog. Realizing what once was despised is now beautiful and doing it together. Doing life together. Mistakes, successes, learning, and growing. All of it.
It’s easy to compare and lose sight of the fantasticness within your grasp. And for us?
When it comes right down to it, it’s pretty fantastic.