This is one of the many gardens we had at our previous house. It wasn't a particularly large house or lot, but over the years we had lived there, we had worked to cultivate beautiful gardens all around the yard, right up to the house. Actually, the gardens were my domain; I relaxed by working in them, I could sit for long periods of time studying and planning for the best conditions and places and plant choices, and I fretted when life or the weather interfered with keeping them healthy and maintained. We are an outside oriented family so we enjoyed the gardens for a good part of the year, especially considering the climate.
Over the time we lived in that community, we also cultivated a great number of connections, involvements, and very strong friendships. We were engaged in work with organizations, causes, schools, scouts, church, sports, recreation and civic life. We were woven into the community. We derived help and support from those around us and we were able to contribute beyond ourselves in many ways. I believe both of those are important gifts to be priveleged to receive.
It was bittersweet to leave that house, our home; but i think that each of us has come to realize that it was just a house, that our home is in fact where our family is. Community and engagement in the larger world around us are different. Those are people, and cannot be replaced. I miss them dearly, so do my husband and my children. I am happy here in our new home, in my new job, the opportunities for each of us here are unique and exciting. But there is a lonliness that creeps in sometimes. There is a sense of being disconnected from the rich tapestry of life we were part of there, and a somtimes profound sense of missing our good friends.
Our new house is comfortable, and quite lovely really, and we are working to make it feel like ours. The lot is a bit small, but laid out in a charming way. I am starting to see the potential. As I learn the soil and the climate and the local plants, I will begin to cultivate an outdoor space for us here as well. Likewise, we are slowly finding ways to make connections, to become involved, to cultivate friendships, to engage in the larger world around us. That will take much more time than the gardens though.