Saturday, October 9, 2010

real life too

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. 


  1. I can understand the lingering loneliness, and the longing for those connections...Oh, but think on the adventure, and satisfaction to come, from making this new place yours. How exciting!

    What a lovely, bittersweet post this is.

  2. It is disorienting to pick up and move. Whenever I've done it, there's this bizarre fluctuation between the excitement of getting out and exploring somewhere new and the feeling of "ok, now what do I do? I've found a great restaurant but with whom shall I go???" (Sorry. Single woman bias creeping in...)

    But you're right, we adapt, we edge our way into new friendships, the ground begins to settle beneath our feet. Just another thing that doesn't happen by next Tuesday... ;-)

  3. I lived in the same house from the day I was born to the day I got married, and have lived in the same house since the day I got married. Packing up and moving somewhere new actually sounds kind of exciting to me, but I know I would miss my community terribly if I were to ever do this. It's great that you are enjoying your new job, your new life. Maybe as new connections form it will help, although never replace the ones you left behind.

    Beautiful garden! Are the red flowers peonies?

  4. Elysia says: GG Gardening, what a wonderful way to "meet the neighbors! You might want to work on the front yard of your new home first, because soon your neighbors will wave "hello", then stop to chat while admiring how you're elevating their view. You seem to have a good attitude about all the changes, not easy I'm sure.-Elysia

  5. Kelly,
    Thank you. We are all, in our own way, excited about a lot of the changes. I really do like my job and feel like it will challenge me and interest me for a long time. And the other people working there are interested, engaged and challenged, which is such a nice atmosphere. The kids are finding a lot more opportunities at the new school, their world is expanding. And my husband is close enough to his family to really spend time with them (and closer to his favorite football team, although technically we're living in enemy territory)

    You are right, I know both that it will happen, and that it will take time (next friday maybe?) I don't regret this decision at all.

    My parents still live in the house i grew up in, but after college, I moved around - a lot - and even with my husband, we didn't settle for a long time. In fact, it kind of surprised me that we did put down such deep roots.
    Thank you and Yes - they are peonies, the picture was taken in early June.

    That's a really good point - the house does have a really nice front patio area, and people actually do go aout and walk in the evenings here - which is so nice.