|Pacific Northwest rural road from DreamsTime.com.|
As I recall, the answer to that question was ambivalent - sometimes it did and sometimes it didn't. What surprised the writer more, however, was something else altogether. He called it the "happy small life."
Several respondents described themselves as happy with their lives, not due to any single great accomplishment, or goal they had achieved; but rather, they described their families, their gardens, their friendships, and how those things had led them to a happy life. They talked about kindness and generosity.
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We attended a wedding weekend before last, a small but joyful backyard ceremony. It was held at the home of the bride's grandparents and her grandfather had personally built the archway / trellis under which they exchanged their vows. The groom was in his Air Force dress blues and the bride was a beautiful sight in her wedding dress.
The weather was perfect as it topped just above seventy degrees with a gentle breeze. Hummingbirds flitted around several feeders placed among the strands of winking lights all over the yard.
Someone told me not long ago that the average wedding now costs approximately $10,000 and that many spend well over $25,000. The first house we bought cost only $26,500. I realize that was nearly two generations ago now, but still .... . What are people thinking?
I cannot begin to guess. But I know what this young couple was thinking about when they planned their modest backyard celebration. I know because one of the grandmothers told me about it during the reception. They were thinking of a starting their new life together with no debt and with a little money with which to make their first home; which would be a small sparsely furnished apartment on a military base in Montana. And they were happy as could be about it.
Perhaps they also have big dreams. I do not know. All I know is that this young couple had already reached their first major goal in life: a wedding that was held in a place that was meaningful to them, with lots of family and friends in attendance, and without spending a small fortune they had made it lovely. It was fun, too!
One of the more touching parts of their ceremony was one of the scriptures they had chosen. It was Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to bless you and not to harm you; to give you a future and hope.
Those two kids are going to do alright, if they hang onto that promise. And if they keep making the kind of choices that, even if modest in the eyes of others, make them happy.
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This week we are traveling in the Pacific Northwest. It is beautiful here, as it always is. But we have noticed that it is no more beautiful than where we live every day. Different, yes. But not better. We have a small happy life on a half-acre in Paradise. And we are thankful. # # #
Hope your half-acre, wherever it may be today, is happy. Until next time, your grateful gardener ~ Marsha