For the past few years, we’ve worked extra hard making our yard a place of refuge after a long day. I honestly believe the hard work is starting to pay off. It is a huge space that takes more than three hours to mow and results in a four-mile hike when the entire thing is done right, but the amazing results are worth every step.
Our back yard has become our refuge. It is a place where we unwind on warm spring days, cool summer evenings and blissful fall nights. When snow falls heavy, the boughs of the pines bend under the weight and birds gather at the feeders placed around its edges.
Our time in the yard isn’t simply a back-porch affair. We don’t simply sit on the patio and enjoy a quiet dinner together at the table, listening to the gentle fountain trickle melodically. We might choose to sit around the fire pit in the north-western corner, allowing the glow of the slowly burning embers to take us back to a more primitive time. Some times we gather at the park bench near the pines and enjoy the view of the garden and our fresh produce, growing in the warm summer sun, a glass of wine in hand.
I have big dreams for the yard. Many of my hopes and visions may never be realized. I see a utility shed in one corner with a greenhouse attached. I envision paths winding through dense growth, bird baths, beautiful flowers, islands of color and texture. I hope for a space that is perfect for nature and people.
But for now, I’m happy with our sanctuary and the joy it brings all year long. It is my place of peace. It is the temple in which I find renewal and calm. In many respects, it is my church. There are no crosses or stained glass windows, instead we have crisscrossing branches of the willow and the dappled light dancing on the green grass through young maple leaves. There are no pipe organs or majestic choirs. Instead, we enjoy the tinkle and gongs of wind-chimes blown to and fro and a chorus of robins, chickadee and cardinals singing their hymns of praise from tall perches throughout the yard.
This is my church. I would love it if you could come visit some time. I think you would enjoy it as much as we do.