It was a fast seventeen years!
We had lived in Black Creek for this long on Vancouver Island, in BC, Canada. We raised our three children, from birth to their teen years, in this farming area surrounded by wilderness. After seventeen years passed it was time to pull out our roots and head on into town.
Sometimes life hands you a challenge and you need to decide what is best for your family. We asked God to open the doors he wanted opened and close the doors he wanted closed. Simple enough. But it was heart wrenching to leave a place we had pictured growing old in. So leaving it in the Lord’s hands made perfect sense. It was just too hard to do on our own…
Once, before the move into town, I cried a bit, at church, during a song about stars. Ian leaned over to me and I whispered that I would miss seeing the stars. He gently squeezed my arm. He knew just what I meant. Living on six acres on a dead-end gravel road without streetlights made it easy to star gaze.
On the last drive out, down our rural driveway, the tears gently trickled down my cheeks. My daughter and I had stayed behind in the empty house cleaning up after all our belongings had been removed. The guys had gone ahead into town with the moving truck filled to the brim with everything we owned. We didn’t own the old place anymore. The trees the boys had climbed would stay behind and so would my rose garden.
My daughter was so busy talking to our two dogs and cat that I was able to avoid her detecting my tears. Halfway to our new home my tears dried up and I began to get curious about the house we would now call home. We had seen it several times; but it was always filled with someone else’s things. How would our stuff fit in it? Would the antique dining room set have enough room in the dining area?
We were getting closer. I was beginning to feel better and even joyful. It was done. The goodbye was over and now I was about to enter a new phase of our life. I turned into the new place. Our new home was right in town on .77 acre with a circular driveway.
There was room for me to pull in even though the moving truck was still there. My heart sped up as I noticed how much further ahead the gardens were than at our old place. Snowdrops were sprinkled like fallen popcorn throughout the perennial border along the driveway. I smiled.
Before I even got to the doorstep another vehicle pulled into the driveway. Out climbed a friend from church laden with homemade soup, buns and a pie for dessert. She gave me a hug and said she loved what she could see of our place – but she needed to be going since she knew I would be very busy. I thanked her profusely and promised she must be my first guest for tea and that I would give her a tour of the gardens.
It was beginning to feel like home already and I had not even got in the door. So in I went, and was amazed to discover that all the furniture was already placed in the correct rooms. The labelled boxes were all in the basement waiting for us to retrieve when we were ready. Having moved quite a bit in our newlywed years we had a system worked out to reduce the strain.
At the end of the day, when we were all worn out it was time to get ready for bed. I jumped in the shower after tucking in the children and then approached my dresser. On the dresser I found several glow in the dark stars accompanied by a sweet note from my husband. Why would I miss the stars when I have the one I love beside me?
Now, the next hurdle needed to be jumped. How was I going to sleep in town? I was used to no outside lights on and no traffic. Exhaustion overcame my apprehension and I slipped into slumber almost instantly. Oddly, the next morning we both commented that it was the best we had slept in ages!
Our new place was covered thickly in mature trees. The street light barely lit up any of our grounds. Traffic, although heavy in the day, slowed down to a trickle at night.
The first morning I took some time to really survey the gardens. It was March and nothing needed our immediate attention. It was the perfect time of year to be stuck inside unpacking and setting up house…
It was nice being so close to our church, shopping and friends. But it was not quite so nice being so close to neighbours’ noisy televisions, cigarette smoke, and barking dogs. One neighbour barely said hello before he started asking me if he could cut branches off our trees hanging over his fence. That would mean even less privacy and too much sun for a shade garden on our side. I simply said to go ahead and cut what he was legally allowed without our consent. We needed to live in the house for a year before cutting anything down.
Yet, on the other side of our place lives the sweetest lady. She hopes we will not cut branches off our trees. They provide her with refreshing afternoon shade and a place to hang garden art from. We compliment each other’s gardens and share tips on what to grow. It’s like having a mom next door.
Yes, it was an adjustment to live so close to our neighbours. But it turns out even this makes it seem more cozy. There’s something soothing about the predictable whistle of the elderly couple’s teakettle or the sound of their loving words as they lean over the fence to pet our large dog, Lola. Lola laps up the lavish praise greedily. I don’t startle, now, when I hear a rustling in the shrubs; because I know it is just our cat and not a bear or cougar like at our country home.
Leaving my much cared for country garden gave me grief. One of the surprises I experienced, at our new place, was that although we had left a place I loved – this place, too, had been loved. So there we were, a garden without a mistress and a mistress without a garden. We joined hands and have been blooming buddies ever since. I nurture the plants and they nurture my soul with their lovely flowers.
I did invite my friend from church for tea. My best china graced the table and the housewarming gift of lilies, she brought, cheered up the grey spring afternoon. My friend remarked how our place was like a piece of country in town. Yes, the country did not get left totally behind.
Those lilies now bloom in one of the new flower borders I put in. Their brilliant warm colours remind me of the warmth of that first lovingly made meal in our new city home.
Having now experienced both a country life and a city life I can say that they both have their pros and cons. It all depends on which door you are meant to enter or exit. Home is not where you hang your hat – it’s where you hang your heart!
Oh, yes, I almost forgot…the dining room set has never looked so good! ~ Wendy
About the Author:
Wendy Macdonald was born and raised in British Columbia, a province of Canada. She loves nature, gardening, art, home schooling, photography and the One who created this beautiful planet we all call home.
She has loved writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. Only this year has her writing become something she shares with others. It is her desire to stir up a creative spirit in all of us that she believes the Artist of nature put there.
You are welcome to follow her blog at http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com