Time to be. To breathe. To pray. To be thankful. To savour.
Community is close-knit and daily... everyone knows everything about everyone... but when someone's in trouble... everyone is there to help out. Somehow we've lost that sense of community here in the suburbs. It's so easy to be invisible, to be unknown, to close up your castle and keep yourself to yourself. And when you're in trouble? You're stuck.
And the nature? No need to troop out with the kids to the local swimming pool when you have a fjord outside your door, no need for playgrounds when there are trees to climb, no need for train rides when there are boats to row...
It sounds ideal, doesn't it? And it is. And its perfect and its wonderful.
But in reality? Life is not always easy and idyllic for those who live there... the apple juice doesn't just appear on the table, the wood doesn't just end up in the pile, the boats have to be maintained and communication via internet and mobile phone is a normal part of everyday life.
It's just that for us, when we're there... it is an opportunity to appreciate stepping out of our busy lives and switching off and appreciating the simple life.
And so this coming school year I'm going to try and be a little bit more proactive about getting back to basics with my girls. We're going to try and be outdoors more, we're going to try and cut back on the screens, and that means I may not make it here every single day. And I'm learning that's OK.
Because really. Life is beautiful when you have a moment to stop and appreciate it. I've been learning that these last 18 months. That even when you are going through the most unimaginable heartache, there is always beauty to be found. There is always beauty in the truth of the Gospel. Always. But there is beauty around too. When you make time to actually look at what is going on around you, you can't help but be thankful, and wonder why on earth the Creator would bother with someone as little and insignificant as you. And when you're living in a crazy, busy whirlwind, you don't have time to stop and see that.
And this year I want to see it. Just a little bit more.