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My Happy Place

Posted by Deborah W. Giles on

My Happy Place
Home is where the heart is. My heart is tied to my home and family. Our culture says that --- is the original profession but the original profession in the Garden of Eden was animal husbandry and gardening. Both activities insure that life goes on because both provide food for this journey we call life. I wake every morning with joy in my heart that I am at my vacation location. We work hard, but the old saying is that: “if you love your work you will never work a day in your life.” Most mornings the first thing I do is look out my French doors leading to our screened porch and thank God that He lets me live here. I have a never-ending“to do list” that my hands can stay busy helping the Creator maintain and enlarge my little slice of the Garden of Eden. Don’t get me wrong I love the beach, the mountains, lakes, rivers and a beautiful meal in a fine restaurant, but nothing compares to the place we call home.
Thirty-Five years ago, John and I had an epiphany while sitting outside our home looking at our baron uninspiring lifeless yard on South Perry Street in Montgomery. It was depressing. Up until that point any home we had lived in had grass and shrubbery beds. Our Perry Street home had been an unloved rental property for decades with not even the bare essential of grass. We spent months making the inside inhabitable. We knew nothing about landscaping and only a basic knowledge of gardening. We started small creating one space at a time, learning as we went. We started with porches and decks that flowed out to the yard.
We bought our current 40-acre property in much the same condition; weeds, vines and overgrown brush, no house, no yard, no barn, no pond and no road. It is now my happy place. The essential needs of every human are love, forgiveness, water, air, shelter, food and sleep (see Lord’s Prayer). This place supplies every human need that I have. Our lives are a mixture of physical, spiritual and soulish components and our happy place addresses those needs. I have been told (by well-meaning friends and acquaintances) that God does not want me gardening and that I should be out evangelizing. I have learned more about God in my little Garden of Eden. I found out years ago that the monastic life of old was the place that people needed to come when they needed silence and peace, that get-a-way.

My hope is that the pictures we share and the beauty that we have found inspires others to create their own personal Happy Place. The Wizard of Oz was not a great spiritual story, but the ending is still true today, “There is no place like Home.”

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