I lifted my face to the sun and stood there for a minute, just listening. High in the pine trees above me, the wind rustled. Then it blew a little stronger, and a smile broke over my face. I knew that sound. It was the sound of home.
Home, but not the house
It really doesn’t make sense if you if you saw the place I grew up. The structure itself is plain, the yard was fairly rough and bland. It wasn’t manicured, landscaped, or much of anything. It sat, buried in the woods off the beaten path, surrounded by trees. But not pine trees. Oak trees, mostly.
No, the sound I hear of the waves rushing through the pine needles wasn’t the house I lived in. It was the sound of my refuge – the woods I escaped to when things were rough.
A heart home
The sound of the wind rushing through the pine trees is curiously like that of waves crashing on a beach. That’s another one of my heart homes – a place I can rest and be at peace. The forest is another. If I’m stressed or upset, the woods are calming. Peaceful.
I didn’t realize how much I missed trees until we started house hunting. We have trees at our current house, of course. Fine specimens of maple and cherry, ornamental decorations outside in our tiny yard. If you count the baby trees in the front, we have a grand total of 4 trees on our lot. That’s not a forest.
For the kids
One of the top criteria on our list this time is a back yard. A REAL back yard, with trees and room to play. The kids have grown up in a house with literally no back yard, and they ride their bikes in the back alley instead. It’s a lovely house and nice neighborhood of closely packed homes, but it’s not a good fit for us any more.
I want my kids to feel a sense of wonder in their own yard. Here? It’s too tame and quiet. Except for neighbors who breeze by in their cars way too fast for the alley, it’s safe. It’s flat. Boring. Simple. There is nowhere to build a tree fort or a pretend house. No room to have a swing or a fairy garden. It kills the imagination, and as I realized that day in the sun, it blights my soul.
Even if this house falls through and we don’t go there, I know to look for a yard with that sense of wildness. It’s not just about the bedrooms and kitchen, it’s more than that. It’s home.