It’s difficult to have your cake and eat it, too. But, I realize that I keep trying to do both.
We have never lived in such a busy place as we do right now. We are less than two miles from the Augusta National Golf Club. We are in a neighborhood that is in the center of a triangle created by Interstate 20, Augusta’s By-Pass (Bobby Jones Hwy 520) and a large, heavily traveled two lane road. Within two and a half mile radius, we have four Starbucks, three Chick-fil-a’s, two Bath & Body Works, a large shopping area (Target/Borders/Best Buy/Ofc Depot/Goody’s/Regal Cinema/Sports Authority/etc…), a major mall (Sephora/Coldwater Creek/Abercrombie/Wet Seal/Dillards/Sears/etc…) …. well ….. you get the picture. We specifically chose to live in the area that we live in because we wanted to be in the middle of the activity in Augusta. We didn’t want to spend our time in the car traveling to and from church, shopping and fun. Well, we chose well.
We actually live in a very quiet neighborhood. It’s filled with a great community of homeschoolers. We have two parks and a wonderful neighborhood pool. The neighborhood is well established so most of the homes are on graciously wooded lots. We have a healthy Red-Shouldered Hawk and a passel of Downy Woodpeckers who frequent our trees. Joy finds snakes, anoles and all sorts of buggies in our yard.
But, this is the first home we’ve lived in that is in such a bustling, busy area. Our other homes were almost always out in the country. Our home in Bainbridge was in the middle of a plot of land that was about …. two hundred acres, I’d guess. We were bordered by fields that grew earthy peanuts, waving fields of soft winter wheat or golden stands of tasseled corn. Mice were everywhere, horses were within one hundred feet of Glory’s bedroom window and the coyotes sounded like they were right outside the front door.
In Bainbridge, we lived seven miles from the edge of town (which was about four miles from end to end on the busy road that is the main road in town), but nobody would come visit us because we “lived so far out.” We were very lonely. My children often felt isolated. They certainly don’t feel that way in our current home.
While I love our home in the city, I miss the country. I’ve decided this is why I insist on spending as much time as possible at Reed Creek. I love the woods, the frogs and the Red Winged Blackbirds. I cherish the spiders that crawl about and cattails that fill the water. I wonder what animals roam at night when eye can’t see nor ear is nearby to hear. I want Joy to continue to love the outdoors and the life that lives and grows in it. So, we travel the few miles down yet another busy thoroughfare to reach the Interpretive Center every other week.
This past Tuesday, Joy’s class focused on Terrific Trees. The children searched for leaves big and small – Sycamore to Willow. They ran their tender hands up and down the rough bark – Pine and Cypress. They sniffed broken twigs, crumbled crunchy leaves and examined fruit.
But, most of all, they grew in appreciation of the wonder and intricacies of nature.
I’m thankful for the wonder God created in our world. He created a three dimensional world full of rhythm, color and movement. He gave us the ability to question, investigate and reason. He made us all interdependent on each other and the living things around us. We need the plants and animals that live around us as much as we need each other.
I’m thankful for the chance to live amongst the hustle and bustle, but I deeply, intimately, cherish the glory and beauty of nature.