Isn’t it strange? When I was young, I couldn’t wait to leave Mississippi. At least, my corner of it. But the older I get, the more I cling to what I love about it. I’ve come to appreciate its simplicity. The ease of living where I do.
It’s rural. Small. To get to any metropolis means a 35 – 50 minute drive in any direction.
I spent years promoting this place in my last job. Singing its praises and touting its virtues. But it’s taken me a long time to really and truly appreciate them in a personal way.
Hubs and I want to build a house. Whether or not it’s in our budget is still something we’re waiting to find out. Thinking about it, making some preliminary plans, has awakened a realization in me just how much I love my home.
Not the building, though, this house has been a home, the only home, to our blended family, for nearly 13 years. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. It holds a lot of special memories. And there is a lot that I do love about the building itself.
I went outside one night last week and took a picture of it. All dressed in Christmas lights, letting the thoughts and emotions hit me that it might be our last Christmas in this dwelling.
Before new adventures.
I know people that have moved a lot. And I know people that have never moved. But I fall in the middle. The only big moves coming after many years in a single place.
I was 11 years old when we moved from Oklahoma to Mississippi. Nearly 10 years on the Oklahoma plains were all I had memories of. And then the piney woods of Mississippi began to fill them, until this is now the only place that I see myself ever living. Permanently.
I love my multi-annual visits to Mobile. I love to sit on a balcony and hear the waves of the Gulf. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that those are temporary pleasures. And if I ever made the leap to make them permanent, my soul would always be longing for the quiet, hushed sounds of a mourning dove across a pasture, or the soft whispered breezes through the pines.
It has become home. Without my trying. Without my consent. It has caused me to take root. But I no longer fight it. I embrace it. Because it seems my heart knew what it was doing all along.
Contentment has never come easily to me. I’ve always been a forward thinker. Maybe my age is slowing that down a bit. Maybe it’s the realizations of fleeting time with a daughter on the cusp of leaving the nest and parents that, though I still see them as the 30 and 40 somethings that raised me, are, in actuality, aging just like I am.
Whatever the reason, I feel like I am getting better at day-by-day living. Which has been a goal of mine for a long time.
So as the first week of the new year comes to an end, I’m looking forward, as always, to new things.
There might be big changes, there might not. Time will tell.
But for once, time no longer feels like something I have to conquer. Stay ahead of. It feels like a quiet, steady companion. One that moves without my prodding or planning. I’m simply walking beside it, waiting to see what she reveals next.