Tuesday, May 14, 2013
In Jane Austen's day, guests would "take a turn about the room." Or they would walk the garden. This was a way of visiting. Two or more would walk together and talk. It was a restful sort of recreation and exercise.
When the weather is nice here at our Vermont Estate, I often ask one of my teenagers if they would walk the grounds with me. We have a 2 acre parcel of land. I walk up the back property, near the rushing river and enjoy the retreat - like setting. We have a tiny garden plot with new blueberry and strawberry plants which have not yet been established enough to bear fruit. But they are fun to look at.
In the early spring and summer mornings, I do the majority of my housework. I do the dishes, the baking, some cooking, and tidying. Then I do laundry and hang it on the clothesline. While I work, I look forward to my walk around the grounds. I love to call out, on my way out the door, "Will someone walk with me?" Often it is one of my teenage boys who goes with me.
I see things that remind me of what it must be like on old homesteads. In the spring, farmers would walk the property and assess the needs. A certain fence might need to be repaired. A barn door might need a hinge tightened. Perhaps the porch steps need a few boards replaced. The farmers worked hard to maintain and repair the grounds so the homestead would function as it should. On my own property, I see some weeds that need to be removed. I see a porch that needs painting and a playground that needs to be cleaned and ready for children to enjoy for the season.
All these chores can be done at our own pace, over many weeks or months. They give us great joy to labor on our own property. We take pride in our land and our homes, when we enjoy our own work.
As I am walking the grounds, I am not thinking about what must be done outside the property. The outside world is shut out. Peace reigns. A soothing happy feeling of walking the garden with my Lord is in my thoughts. . . And for just a little while, I forget about my poverty, realizing I have everything I need, in this old 1800's house, and on this beautiful land.
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