growing up, that phrase meant something entirely different from what it means to me now.
i’m fairly certain i was a peasant or serf in one
most of my former lives. if i was, then i was one of the upstarts. i was probably hung or shot for rising up against my oppressors. 🙂
i would certainly have been a budding socialist at the time when socialists were budding.
it’s fairly safe to say i have definite socialist leanings now. although without all the Comrade malarky.
anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
now, though, knowing my place has become my life’s work.
which is a rather grandiose and
possibly obnoxious statement, i suppose.
i’m a restless soul, as i’ve said before – suffering from a chronic and unrelenting case of hiraeth – where i live now, is not my soul-home. mostly, it’s back in the motherland, but i’ve also caught glimpses of it in the northern parts of this province – on the granite archipelago of the French River….
so, all that taken into account, here isn’t really where i thought i’d live.
i’ve always felt that this particular bit of earth has been slow to welcome me, despite my desperate keenness to throw my heart and soul into it. after all, this patchwork farmhouse and the land it sits on was the manifestation of some long-held dreams.
i suppose i was disappointed – and a little bit hurt – that it felt as though the land couldn’t give a rat’s arse whether i was here or not.
so instead of basking in the delights of finally having my dream-come-true — a house in the country and all that entailed – i spent the first couple of years adrift and disillusioned.
turns out, i had it all wrong.
you see, i was afraid.
i was afraid that it would all be taken away — we’re only tenants here, after all. i was afraid to root myself too deeply, to give too much of myself, in case i lost it. i think my heart would have shattered beyond repair.
so the land gave back precisely what i gave it.
and when, over time, i gave more, the land gave more.
i’m learning, ever so slowly, to trust myself in this. whenever the scared little voice in my head warns me against making too many plans (do you really think you ought to plant more roses? what if you have to leave? don’t put too much time and money into this place, it’s not yours) i politely acknowledge the care and concern and go back to my rose catalogue* and my master to-do list.
home/land ownership is all well and good – if you have the financial means and the personal philosophy to do so – but we have neither of those. land prices in this area are utterly beyond our reach, nor do we define ‘ownership’ as a measure of personal success.
it seems that my holding onto the constraints of those two things was holding me back from truly living here.
so while my soul may yearn for faraway places, my heart does, after all, live here.
and i’ve made a conscious decision to more deeply acquaint myself with this bit of earth. i may have vowed stewardship of it some time ago, but i’d never really considered getting to know it.
you know that old saying….familiarity breeds contempt? well, i’m slightly ashamed to admit i’ve fallen victim to that of late.
we’ve been here for four years now and so looking out at the same views all the time doesn’t always do much to inspire wonder and delight.
it’s when i look closer, though…at the small details…that i see evidence of the ordinary magic that i believe has the power to thoroughly enchant a life.
and to live an enchanted life is something i’d enjoy – very, very much.
ps. i finally got around to making good on the Very Excellent Thing that girl-child and i had promised ourselves last August when we toiled through the August Break photo challenge — a Proper Camera. i’m currently navigating a rather steep learning curve, but greatly enjoying myself as i do so. i wish i could explain why it took me so long…the money had been saved and set aside already…it was all rather messily entangled in issues of Worth and Practicality. tedious, and yet, so goes my busy-brain. nevertheless, i’m now an unabashed shutterbug.
*David Austen. naturally. is there any better way to spend an hour than with a steaming mug of tea and a rose catalogue? i think not.