“You’ll find your happiness lies right under your eyes, back in your own back yard.”-(music by Dave Dreyer, Lyrics by Billy Rose)
I have fallen in love with my back yard. I’ve always loved back yards as the private green space of home (some being more private than others!), but really there is something magical about back yards. It can be my own little kingdom, my sailing ship, my sunbath, my green ocean, whatever my heart desires. In my own back yard I can be anywhere, especially when there aren’t any neighbors about.
In my backyard, I watch the squirrels play, the rabbits lounge, the birds feast and flit, and sometimes the kids run and swing. I have cook outs and picnics, daydreams and stargazing. In my backyard, I have healing for my soul and joy for my heart, sunlight and shadows, flowers and grass, trees and (later on) apples.
Sometimes, in my fantasies, I think about moving into the backyard. Then reality reminds me that, especially during times of inclement weather, I might prefer to sleep in a climate controlled room with an actual bed!
And the back yard is so full of sounds! Birds chatting, chirping and singing. Squirrels ch-ch-chitting. The neighbor’s rooster crowing and goats bleating. The breezes gently swaying the branches or wind blasting the trees. The air conditioner humming. The hose spraying. Children squealing. And often, natural silence.
There are smells too. Lilacs and lilies of the valley in spring. Strawberries and mint in June. Apples in late September. Fallen leaves and nuts in autumn’s October and November. Crisp cold air in the long months of winter. Cook-outs whenever it is warm enough.
If I could add something to my backyard, I would like to add water: lake, river, creek, stream, pond, ocean…I just love water. But, I’ll take it as it is.
My backyard, and all of nature really, is my sanctuary. It is where I am calmed (there’s science behind this!) and where I feel closest to God. Like Anne of Green Gables says, sometimes when I need to pray I just go out in my yard and “feel a prayer”. My first blessing of living out in the country is that on clear nights I can see the Milky Way. It’s like we say in Godly Play (especially in the story of Abram & Sarai), I go out and “draw so close to God and God draws so close” to me, that I often then find I know what God wants me to do.
And I’ll admit, I do still wish on stars. Always have and always will.
“You can go to the East, go to the West, but someday you’ll come weary at heart back where you started from. You’ll find your happiness lies right under eyes, Back in your own back yard.”
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