I believe that you should always try to make the best of where you are at. Find joy in the journey. Bloom where you are planted. Come what may and love it.
And that's what I've been trying to do these past 16 months in our new home.
As you know this new home has been quite a drastic change from our old one. And, honestly, I've been having some trouble feeling connected to it. It's a really nice, family-friendly, clean town. The schools are great. I have all the shopping I could ever want within 10 minutes of my home! There are many opportunities & activities for the kids. And I am very thankful for all of those things.
At this time, though, it just doesn't connect to my heart. Do you know what I mean?
Some people need to be near the mountains. Others get that high in big cities. Maybe a small town. Some need a certain climate -- snowy winters, bright fall colors, tulips in the spring. What makes your heart feel at home?
For a while I've been trying to pinpoint what it is that makes my heart feel at home.
On this big road trip it finally hit me. As I was driving across the interstates, highways, and country roads I had moments where I felt settled, comfortable . . . . and as I payed attention to my surroundings & experiences I came to discover 3 things that make me feel this way.
1. Agriculture. I feel weird saying it, but it's true! I like being near things that grow. I like driving past baby corn fields, rows of tomatoes, plum, walnut, peach, & apricot orchards, berry farms, strawberry fields . . . . I I love love having access to fresh, ripe produce. I like seeing the fruit/vegetable stands on the side of the road. Maybe this comes from my family history (both of my grandfathers were farmers and my dad is in agriculture), I don't know. I just feel good knowing the earth around me is producing something.
The photo above: This is the street I grew up on - Sycamore Ave. I also lived on North Ave when I was a baby. Sycamore is actually to my back - it is a real street with curbs, sidewalks, big trees, and normal house-sized lots, but directly across the street from the outlet is a field with a big irrigation ditch that runs parallel with Northe Avenue. The field used to be a walnut orchard, I believe.
2. History & charm. Old brick buildings. Quaint little shops on Main Street. Mid-century, Craftsman, or farm homes. Vintage treasures.
This is a big one to me. Big. While I love me some West Elm, I also need my junk shops. I like going out for a nice dinner in the city but a stroll down historic Main Street just brings a smile to my face and makes me feel lighter and at ease.
3. Access to the coast. I love the beach. I don't have to go all the time, but just knowing that it is close enough for a day trip (2-3 hr drive at most) whenever I might get a whim . . . . that is freedom to me. For some reason a trip to the beach symbolizes choice and possibility.
So there it is. Agriculture, history/charm, beach. And now that I have had this little epiphany I don't feel as restless. I felt like I learned something about myself and I understand "me" a little bit better. Funny the things that we discover about ourselves . . .
And while our current town might not fit into my perfect mold, it is a good home and we have each other. That's all that really matters, right?
And who knows, in a few years I might add "blazing hot summers" to my list.
Uh, probably not. ;)
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So I'm interested to know. What makes your heart feel at home?