This essay was written in May of 2007 and was my first published in "The Northeast Georgian" newspaper (Habersham County)
Until this past December 15, I lived in a box with limited windows that was high above the ground. No, I’m not a former resident of one of the state’s prisons, just of a condo in
Don’t get me wrong, it had been a great place to live. The mortgage was low and it served me well for 25 years. But after a while, it felt like all I did after I parked my car was walk across pavement and up the stairs into a Habitrail® for humans. And though my home didn’t have an actual hamster wheel to run on day and night, Metro Atlanta has a way of making you feel like everyone around you is doing just that.
Today, I live in a 100-year old farmhouse in Demorest on eight beautiful acres. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. That’s especially true when I see red-tailed hawks circling on updrafts overhead or hear the frogs peeping from the lake. It’s then that I feel my heart leap out of my chest and I thank heaven that I live here.
This is what speaks to me now – old barns, big trees, even the small green anole lizard that graces my front porch and is sometimes perched atop the statue of the Virgin Mary as she stands there welcoming me home.
I’m not Catholic. I’ve worshipped in Lutheran churches most of my life, and you don’t see statues of the Virgin there. But I love the Holy. I love the Mystery. And my journey has been blessed by that Divine Mystery in ways I’m not nearly as appreciative of as I should be. So when I came to look at this house to rent and saw Mary here, I felt like I was being encouraged by a comforting God to let go of what held me to my old way of living and risk being turned upside down once more.
For fourteen years I visited the northeast
My calendar says that December 15 was the first night of Hanukkah – the Jewish festival of lights. That holiday commemorates a time of rededication of the
So far here, I’ve found a little bit of work to do but I can’t tell yet how long my monetary “oil” is going to last. Yes, it’s a little scary to throw oneself at the mercy of the heavens to keep the fires burning, but I love it here. I love that I see familiar faces at contra dancing and at church the next day. I love the sight of moonlight washing over the farm fields. So even though I feel a little looney for unplugging from everything I knew in Marietta, when I see that moonlight, all I can do is pray to be allowed to stay here.