I never could have imagined the love I'd feel for our piece of land. It's the ultimate healing location for me, and most days I feel like there's nowhere else in the whole wide world that I'd rather be.
I can't even really describe what it is about our place that makes me feel this way. It's definitely beautiful. It's peaceful (most of the time, when our neighbours aren't chainsaw-ing or dirt biking), and yeah - I guess it's partly because it's 'ours', though this feeling is more about stewardship than ownership.
It's about having an opportunity to do something positive for this land - to manage it holistically, sustainably, regeneratively and productively. It's about being able to build and dream and imagine and create, without having to worry about being forced to move on before we're ready. It's about being able to plan and plant, to put trees into the ground that aren't going to bear fruit for more than a decade. It's about long-term investments and watching things grow. It's about seeing other places, where people have lived for decades, and being able to think "that's what our place will be like one day". These are luxuries, we know it, and we feel blessed to be able to revel in these (and other) joys on a daily basis.
|Extra-tall sunflowers that just refuse to face the same way as the others. This sunflower made me smile - literally - every day while it was in bloom|
They keep us grounded. They give us perspective. They help us feel better when we're sick or sad or tired.
Even though these things may be 'simple' in a Western, 'developed-world' context, they are, in the scheme of the world, vast and beautiful luxuries. Losing sight of this perspective on our good fortune (mostly resulting from sheer luck at being born into the middle class in the first world), I feel, would detract from the joys that surround us, so we surely don't take any of it for granted.
|A pair of king parrots who visited daily towards the end of summer to clean up some of the remnant cherry tomatoes on our tomato trellis.|
The little things - like watching the ducks foraging in the orchard, eating breakfast in the sun while the kids play on the tyre swing, eating a dinner made just from our garden, observing the daily and seasonal changes to the land and the veggie garden, watching a stunning moon-rise over the valley - are all 'simple' pleasures. But they're pleasures because we have the luxury to enjoy them as such. This is what we truly have to be grateful for: the luxury of choosing a 'simple' life.