Sunday, May 11, 2008

The ideal life

I was chatting on the phone to a friend down south the other day and asked her what her ideal life looked like. “YOURS!” she said. I laughed out loud. It’s funny how different other people’s lives look and also how sometimes it takes someone else’s view of our life to help us see it in a new light. My friend longed for a cottage in Cumbria.

Most people in our culture wouldn’t aspire to my life as it doesn’t represent the ‘currency’ valued in our society. I don’t have the fancy car, big fat mortgage, sizzling career, bi-lingual nanny and kids in independent school.

What I do have are two healthy and happy girls, a soul mate and best friend, and a work/life balance that few people ever achieve. I am writing these words by birdsong in the delicious heat of this glorious spring (early summer!). My little cottage, and the past nine years of what society would call ‘dead’ money by paying rent, has given me almost a decade of constant holiday in the heart of the countryside.

I am able to grow my own vegetables and herbs. Today as I walked around the garden I marvelled at the blueberry bushes, now in their 3rd year, absolutely heaving with baby berries. Ditto the gooseberries, strawberries, black currants, black berries, cherries, pears. ..and the plums and applies will yield a gorgeous crop too.

Here at the base of the Pennines I enjoy my life’s journey, a mere stepping stone in my soul’s evolution. I’m constantly aware of the blessed life I live and how very different things could have been had I made different choices along the path.

This amazing weather over the past week or so has seen us increase our daily three mile walk to two 3 mile walks a day. Together we marvel at the incredible beauty around us ~ birds, butterflies, bees, trees, baby rabbits, sunshine. This morning we walked through the woods, thick with bluebells, and down to the Eden river. People pay money to holiday in places like this and here it is on my doorstep 24/7.

I encourage my daughters to fully absorb the incredible power and energy in the earth, sky, sun and plant life around us. These days are precious. Eastern mystics tell us that ‘life is an illusion’. I’m loving this illusion and feeding off this Earth’s energy like a ravenous beggar. Daily, I’m nourishing myself with soul-food. And for that I give thanks. If that is what an ideal life looks like, then yes, I've got it!

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