I wrote this a day last week after I had lunch with a dear friend...
As I drove through the back roads of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and through the streets of my hometown, I flash backed to my childhood. Passing homes of past friends, and memories flashing through. Windy roads, farms, old homes, you name it. It all spoke to me.
When I was living there, I used to wonder about life outside the small town. I couldn't wait to escape to a bigger, more exciting place. And then when I did, I started to slowly understand just how special small town living was. Every time I returned, I loved it even more. I appreciated the beauty. I appreciated the "boringness" even more.
Then, we had children in a metropolitan area. Lots of people. The complete opposite of where I grew up. I started to realize what I wanted in life. And when we moved to Maine, I realized the awesomeness of small town life. Every day, I fell more and more in love. It was everything I believed in for our family.
When we moved from Maine and back to Virginia over the summer, it was like a piece of me had been taken away from me. There was no more small town living and more people, buildings and craziness. Everyone always in a rush, sometimes too busy to stop and enjoy life. And here we are back in New England for a visit with family and friends, and I am once again reminded of how this lifestyle speaks right to my heart.
It's beautiful. Deep blue skies. Fresh air. Beauty.
Our girls have smiles plastered all over their faces. They remind me of why I love it here. They remind me why I believe in such a place. They beg to go outside. They beg to run. We see other children outside enjoying - running, biking, skating, you name it - they're outside enjoying life. I feel so relaxed and underwhelmed, and I know the girls do, too.
I guess I had to leave to understand just how much New England has to offer. I am so very lucky to have grown up in such a place. I am so very lucky to have been able to experience life in other parts of the country to truly appreciate the beauty of where I grew up. I look forward to settling back into the New England way of life with our family so they too can enjoy and appreciate some day in their life. So for now, I will soak up all the beauty, grace and everything else this place has to offer and try to just enjoy. Watch the smiles and laughters on our children as they enjoy it, too.