Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Spaces

Edited to reflect that I'm linking this to our Bigger Picture Moments link-up today ... because I thought I had another moment, but I'm not ready to share that one quite yet ...

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments! A weekly writing meme where we breathe in the bigness of a moment that reflects the grander scheme of life.
Bigger Picture Moment

Melissa is hosting our link up this week. Keep an open heart, and visit Maegan next week to add your post if you don't have a moment this week.

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There's a small white house with black shutters encasing the windows resting atop a gentle hill in a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood I adore.

And it's for sale.

The bushes are neatly trimmed, and a few flowers line the walkway to the front door, small bursts of color against the black and white home I already just love. Trees tower above the roof, even the brick chimney.

It's not beautiful like the neighboring homes -- all large, totally unique and spacious nearly million dollar palaces adorned with pedicured lawns, professional landscaping and enormous front porches.

It's small and quaint and simple; it's like a tiny treasure amid dazzling diamonds folded into the perfect neighborhood just blocks away from a lovely and vibrant downtown complete with shops and restaurants and a park that boasts a farmers' market. Just feet away from bike trails and a lovely lake for fishing and enjoying.

I can almost feel this house calling my name -- its 50s stylings and outdated kitchen cabinets and all.

I imagine growing my family in this space, making it our own very lovely little abode. Oh, the possibilities of a new space in which we could make new memories ... a fresh space on which we could splatter the paint of our lives ...

If it were up to me, I think to myself, we would move to a new house every two years or so.

While I was growing up, we moved about 15 times {that I can recall}, which has helped me, I suppose, become accustomed to easily saying goodbye to an old space and welcoming a new one, a fresh one in which to build and grow new memories.

More than likely, if I were given the opportunity, I'd probably change more than houses this often, I muse; I'd probably change the scenery, too.

I'd trade the prairie views in my backyard for the mountain tops of Colorado or the beaches of Southern California or the forests of Seattle.

I think I was born an adventurer, I decide.

The rate at which we moved during my formative years has helped me embrace newness and crave freshness. {Although, I like having an anchor somewhere; and usually that's my mom and her very comfortable space.}

John doesn't feel the same way. He's not someone who wants to pack up all we own every few years and haul it to a new place just for the sake of fresh.

And that's OK, I breathe.

I will continue to deal with being stationary by overhauling our rooms every few months and completely rearranging our living spaces {which if you ever want to completely throw your small children through a huge gaping loop, simply move the couch, reposition the television and strip the hardwood floor of its dirty-used-to-be-white area rug ... they'll amuse themselves for hours while wandering aimlessly around the new spaces. Trust me; it happened last week after my rearranging session two Sundays ago.}


We were only supposed to be living in this house for two years.

We're going on three this spring.

I've never liked the location -- in a subdivision off of a busy one-lane thoroughfare.

We have to drive nearly everywhere.

Our home is one of five models in our subdivision.

It would be boring if the trim were not a bright shade of mauve.

The landscaping is overgrown and needs to be completely overhauled.

And it needs more face lifts than we have time or money.

I want to move.

I want fresh.


We've talked about the white house on the gentle hill.

We've talked about it seriously.

We're going to see the white house on the hill.

Ahh, freshness.

It's so close I can almost taste it.

The night we decide to pursue the house, just see what happens, I fall asleep happily dreaming about all of the adventures we could have there ... all of the ways we could soak up being so close to trails and bike paths and a rich, thriving downtown.

We could ...

The freshness ...

The possibilities ...

I drove my sister by the white house on the gentle hill this afternoon.

We passed in casually and circled the block to see it from a different angle.

We oooohhhed and ahhhhed over its features and mostly over its surroundings.

Except instead of my heart completely beating out of my chest in fits of excitement, it twinged a little.

It pulled a little, made me stop and remember and think about what it doesn't have.


There's nothing wrong with our home.

In fact, there's so much that's right about it.

A big open entry way that leads to vaulted ceilings in the living and dining rooms. Various shades of ocean green spread across the walls. Spacious walk in closets. A backyard larger than most suburban baseball fields. A large garden that spans the entire side of our home. All at the top of a cul-du-sac.

There's so much to love.

But mostly, I love the memories we've made in between these walls.

The little feet who've taken their first steps on these hard-wood floors.

The little life born in our bedroom.

The ground we worked and tilled and sowed and harvested this summer for the first time.

The stairs little bodies proudly, furiously conquered for the very first time.

The hallways where little feet first chased a baby brother in a moment of excited play for the first time.

The home of so many firsts.

Our first home.

Our anchor.

Suddenly, I'm not so sure if fresh needs to come in the form of a quaint white house atop of a gentle hill.

Because maybe fresh comes every day in my babies walking just a little bit more steadily, speaking just another word, growing just a little more.

Maybe all the fresh I need can be found in shifting the couch stage left, giving little legs more floor to tread, more places to make more memories.


There's a small white house with black shutters encasing the windows resting atop a gentle hill in a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood I adore.

And it's for sale.

But mine?

Mine isn't.


  1. We moved quite a bit growing up as well, and for me - it's left me searching for that one stable place, but we have yet to find it. Quite the opposite of you :) Funny.
    This was so beautiful, loved the construction of the post. A funny thing to say, and I think this is the second time I've typed it tonight, but I'm so struck by good construction these days :)

  2. I feel the same way about our home...there are many that I dream about but this one has memories.

    Also, thanks for reading and commenting on my faces of loss post last week:)

  3. I have much to say, but for tonight let me simply say,
    I miss you and your ocean green walls.

  4. I just counted. We have moved 10 times in our 17 years of marriage, and once we moved after staying in a townhouse/apartment for only one night (found a drug house next door) and quickly moved~praise God, He found us a great house the very next day and my husband then spent the entire night with a few new friends moving all of our stuff. As we moved from the Philippines I asked the LORD for a home where we could live for a long while and put down a few roots. We have been in our new place for 8 months. We will see what HE has in store for us this time.

  5. Awe really? I was getting excited about your move!

  6. I love how you come to embrace your "anchor." So beautifully written Hyacynth. You're an amazing writer with an overflowing heart and heightened sensitivity of what's important in this life.

  7. Awww that's so beautiful. I'm with you on the moving frequently thing. I LOVE moving and reorganizing spaces and the like. But the packing? ick. That (and my husband being a teacher) hold me back. I love that you found what you love about your home. Beautifully written. Again.

  8. Love this post; so beautifully written.

    I can relate to so much of it. I grew up in one home, but have been a bit of a roamer since college began. I find myself constructing lives in a lot of "for sale" houses I drive by, but we haven't found the perfect place yet--my concept of "perfect place" has sort of morphed into "wherever husband & child are", kind of like you.

  9. I can relate in so many ways to this post. It's a long, long story. If you are at all interested, let me know, I wrote a post that touches on some of it. (But it would be rude to link here), but suffice it to say, that I understand how a home starts to almost breathe for us, to BE us. It's subtle, we don't notice it happening and suddenly gets wrapped up in our wholeness. I suppose that's what makes it a home. But sometimes I'm reminded that a home doesn't have to be a place, sometimes the spirit of it comes with us.

  10. I had to leave the house of first steps, and it hurt. Part of me will always live there, imperfect as it was. This was lovely, well constrcted as Corinne said. It draws you in, pulls you in the opposing directions so beautifully.

  11. I think giving birth in your home really ties you to it! I am always hesitant to rearrange my furniture, I always imagine to many things going wrong if I move anything out of place. Silly I know. :)

  12. A fresh coat of paint does a lot :-)

    Seriously though, I am not an adventurer. i hate moving. almost 2 years here and I still ache (still cry) over our apartment, where we brought our babies parents still live in the same condo I grew up, I am sure that is why.

    I need an anchor, and I can see that forming in my kids too.

  13. We moved 4 years ago to accommodate our growing family. I miss the other house in that I brought all 4 of my babies home from the hospital to that house, but this one is wonderful, and in a neighborhood perfect for children!
    I still look around at houses for sale when I'm driving around and wonder what they're like inside, wonder how our family would fit, but I am very content and blessed to be in our house.
    All that to say, I think I understand this post!

  14. I've moved my kids a good deal and now we're in a house where I plan to STAY. I want to plant trees and watch them grow.

    I'm jealous of you living in a home where you can see the firsts, but I understand your desire to travel on. You want adventure.

    Sometimes it seems we are each given the lessons of our neighbor. You want to come to Colorado where I live. I want to live in the house where my children first walked.

    And yet.

    I'm learning.

    That it all comes out right.

    I'll learn to move and you'll learn to hold still and we'll anchor one another and take flight in one anothers lives. Because that is friendship and community and the best stuff of the Bigger Picture.

  15. Profound. It touched me.

    We'll be moving from our first home here shortly. Our closing date is looming on us now, and I'm still not sure were we will end up. I am tied to our first home, but I'm not. We moved into our condo when it was just the 3 of us. 25 with a newborn. It is time to move on. We've outgrown it... It is hard though. So I understand this completely.

    Well written! What a beautiful piece.

  16. Love this. I am the same way. We moved more than I count and I continued it as an adult. Now we've been in the house for 5 years and it feels part gift, part albatross. We'll move, but when we do, I'll cry at the memories we'll leave behind.

  17. Beautiful post. This one sticks with me.


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