Some days, it is so easy to be grateful… blue sky dappled with the kind of clouds you want to lay back, flat out on freshly cut grass and find pictures in; warmth of the sort you would wish for when off on your holiday; sun on shoulders; Summer dress floating in the breeze; folks greeting each other with smiles in the street, smiling just because. In the garden, roses are blooming, climbers are reaching higher by the day; Spring flowers, having already ended, are shedding seeds to ensure next year’s supply. On young apple trees, fruits shaded red and green are beginning to weigh down the branches and in the lanes, leaves from one side reach out to greet those on the other creating a tunnel of trees. By the river, blankets are out, baskets are open, picnics are being consumed and glasses chink “cheers”. Here’s to days and to weekends like these.
My garden is a constant source of pleasure. It was the reason I moved from a flat to a house. In moving, we lost an enormous amount of indoor space, but gained our own little piece of earth. Even in the cold and muddy Winter months when I rarely venture out there, I watch the trees from my pillow through the bedroom window in the morning and evening; I plant bulbs and delight in their blooming; I grow salad in pots and blueberries on bushes. This little garden is my personal piece of heaven. My Gratitude Daily course asks that you take pleasure in the simple things. It encourages mindfulness… what better place to experience daily bliss than out in your garden or communal green area. Today was my first proper day out there in my garden this year… the first day of real time, loving it, tending it, admiring it. The first cut of the grass; a close inspection of buds unfurling; mental notes taken of weeds to dig out and spaces that require replanting. In my Gratitude Daily course, I encourage you to spend time doing things that put a smile in your heart… going to places you love, being with people who light you up. My garden is my quiet space… my cup of tea, reflecting place and as the weather warms up, I will enjoy sharing it as I invite friends to enjoy meals out at the table under blossoming wisteria and the boys dig up worms and collect snails with their friends. Such pleasure to be had in the simplest of things. Thank you nature. x
I have lived in my little home for just over 14 years. I never intended this to be my forever home, this sweet little cottage; it was the bridge between a flat and a house. It was a doer-upper when I purchased it with my ex on the Valentine’s Day of the year we got married. It was our first place without lodgers… a space to make our own. We could see the potential. We worked hard; poured love and money into the project; re-wired, re-plastered, re-painted, re-everything-ed it . But I rarely settled here… I was always off and out, here and there… doing, seeing, visiting, somebody or something. This was a bigger-picture thing, I am sure. My restlessness was not to do with the home itself, but something inside me. When we had our first son, spare room became nursery and on the birth of our second son, a cot was added and, as they grew, bunk beds. But I was always out… rarely here, relaxing and entertaining. I cannot recall a single weekend when I stayed home willingly. It has been just my boys and I living here for the past 3 years. Last Winter I redecorated the dining room. It is where we eat and also where I work… at my little corner office. The year before, the boys’ bedroom and our living room were given an overhaul with the help of my boyfriend. We moved everything out of each room in turn, bringing back in only what was wanted. We demolished a shed, constructed a pergola and converted an old door and a sewing machine base into a table. We created a little seated area for outdoor entertaining. This doubles as my Summer art studio also.
In the past years or so, something has shifted. I finally feel at home here. I invite people in. I cook here for friends – I entertain, but the biggest shift of all is that I am happy staying in. This weekend, I have not ventured further than my front door… and no, I’m not ill. If you know me, you know that this would have been unheard of a year ago!
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So today, I am grateful that I finally feel at home here, in my home. I am grateful for a quiet contented feeling. I am grateful for a connectedness to my living environment and a release from my restlessness. I may not always live here, but I feel that now I can be here with myself, I could be happy anywhere. And in reconnecting with my home, I know that it was not my home I was disconnected from, but myself.
Today, I am grateful for the promise of Spring… sun shining, crocuses opening, buds on branches.
Today, I had the pleasure of time in my garden coat-free. I cut back straggly plants, raked leaves and in my head formed a plan for the garden in the coming weeks. It felt good. Blue sky, fresh air, nature… bliss. This year, I want to tame the too tall trees. I want to add more colour and some things to eat – grow rocket and spinach at the least. It is time to lose the small wooden shed and the plastic slide and throw down more grass seed, tend it and be out in the garden daily. This is the place I should be spending time… connecting with nature (and me). This is the place I feel alive. This is what I moved from a huge flat to a tiny house for… my outdoor space. Right now, grass is long, but it is green. For that, I am grateful. There is mud… more of it than there is grass, it seems, but that’s not permanent. There are no puddles or floods here, for which I am grateful. Half way up our little hill, we are safe. Down below, in the park, lakes have replaced fields and paths are almost impassable as the brook that cuts right through the middle has risen and risen and the rains have run down from the woods. That will change… warm weather will come and soon we will be cycling on dry paths and the muddy waters will run clear again. I appreciate the big shifts and the little things that come with the changing of seasons. Above all, I am grateful that I have a home that is dry and warm and a garden in which I can grow things. I am blessed to have a little corner of the world that I can call my own. All of this makes me feel truly abundant.