I love the mountains. Seriously, I looooove the mountains. I also dream of rural-living.
But we live in Suburbia.
In the peace and quiet of mid-morning... I have to stop here to note that it was mid-morning and still peaceful and quiet -- I enjoyed a wonderful walk. It was really a small challenge to myself, a walk/run, and my first since I had Covid about three weeks ago. There were some people about -- exercising, walking dogs, and a few landscapers getting ready to work -- but it was surprisingly placid. I was able to think, pray, ponder.
We live in a neighborhood where others of our family reside. For most of our life together, my husband, children, and I have lived in the same city as our relatives, but the Houston area is gigantic. In the past several years, we've all lived much closer than before, just minutes away from each other. It makes life wonderfully fun and pleasant.
I can be an ungrateful brat sometimes. And no, one is never too old.
I've known a lot of immigrants in my lifetime. I grew up with them. More than twenty years ago, one of our family friends told me that it's not the place that counts, but the people. He was older, gruff, and not a man much given to sentiment. But he looked so sad when he gave that advice. I've never forgotten it and even incorporated it in one of my books. And of course he was right.
Now... would I have appreciated my grandparents settling somewhere with gentler weather than southeast Texas? Yes! But it was here I met my husband and so many wonderful friends. It's where our family is.
And our suburban community -- vast, yet supremely convenient and well-maintained.
And I've made some very nice friends.
And there are lots of green spaces.
And I do have a garden.
We all have our needs and preferences. Some people truly need quiet and wide-open spaces to feel free. I understand that. Every once in a while, that's me.
Maybe you miss your family. Maybe you would love to have that option. You might be overwhelmed by your social calendar or you might be lonely -- or both. Maybe you're in the countryside yearning for the city or in the mountains yearning for the sea. Perhaps your heart is torn between two countries, new and old.
And sometimes you just don't feel well or happy or grateful at all. That's okay -- for a short while. We can't always help how we feel, but wallowing won't get you very far.
To be clear, I'm not talking about life-threatening challenges. I would not presume to preach.
But in la vie quotidienne, the daily grind, it's good to look for the good.
I hope I'm always grateful in my heart. I truly think I am. But today, I'm also grateful in my head.
Thanks be to God.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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