I’ll admit. I was skeptical when my husband suggested we move to a small town. I grew up in a college town, so I was used to the busy hustle and bustle of student life. Plus, I’d worked at a college campus, so there was always tons to see and do. When my husband suggested we move to a town with a population that was one percent of the size I was used to, I wasn’t so sure about the idea. “Really? I don’t know,” I’d said. And, I was new at being a stay-at-home mom. What would we do? Who would we see? Where would we go? Where would we eat? The only restaurant I had seen was Casey’s General Store pizza.
We fell in love with a house and took the leap. We moved our family to small town U.S.A. Since doing so, I have been overwhelmed with surprises. I never knew I could love living in a neighborhood so much. As I sit on the patio relaxing to some music watching the toddler play with the lab, it strikes me. How amazing such an ordinary thing can be. Watching the toddler carry on conversations with the dog as they walk the perimeter of the yard together does something to my heart. I could get used to this.
There’s a sweet little park just five minutes from our home where I like to take the toddler and the baby in the mornings. As I sit in the swings and listen to the wind rustle through the leaves I am in awe.
Last night we got to know some of our neighbors. As I looked over, I saw them jump-roping. I put my arm around my husband and commented on how marvelously classic that was. I said, “This looks like a page out of a magazine.” He chuckled and nodded at the coolness of it all.
A monarch butterfly floats over into my yard from the neighbor’s butterfly garden. As I watch it flutter around, I thank God for this small town life. For this simple unadulterated joy of watching a butterfly flutter its wings. I never knew I could be so happy doing less. But it’s not really less, is it?
Sometimes the best thing we need to do for our soul, for our joy, is to just sit and breathe for a while. Observe the colors in the trees, the wind blowing the blades of grass, the children laughing, the dog running after a soccer ball. Just sit and take in every marvelously mundane little bit. Because that’s really what this life is about. It’s not how much we can do or how big we can be. It’s not about filling up our calendar with event after event. It’s about making all of the seemingly little things be the big things. Be the things worth working for, worth coming home to.
Children running in the street, jump-roping on the sidewalk, neighbors conversing, sharing hopes and dreams, jokes and random thoughts. The smell of fresh-cut grass, the dewdrops in the mornings. It is all so marvelously real and it’s wonderful.
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