I've been thinking about life being magical. Where despite the trials and tragedies that come along with regular life, attitudes seem bright and hopeful and life is still exciting and wonderful. I remember being like that when we had our big farm in Kentucky, but somewhere along the way I lost the magic.
I really like the way that that kind of life felt, and I want it back. All I can think is that because it was a different culture and a different climate and a different lifestyle, I was seeing things through rose colored glasses. The cow, goat, and sheep getting out into the neighboring dairy's field and Steve walking them home, looking like a parade with Steve in front leading the cow, and the goat and sheep walking single file down the road at the same pace seemed comical rather than embarrassing or a hardship. Japanese beetles always getting the fruit in my fruit trees, instead of being a plague and making me frustrated, seemed like a learning opportunity to figure out how to get rid of them. Even the well that ran consistantly dry after I did 2 loads of laundry and had all of the children take baths and Steve and me a shower every day seemed like a minor bump in the road. Even when I didn't understand the well and the pump was too short, and we drained it totally dry where it took a day to fill up, and I learned to give all of the children and myself a sponge bath with only the water I'd filled to the brim of a 2 liter pop bottle seemed like a major obstacle overcome.
What makes the difference? I believe it is perspective.
I have lived in Utah for nearly my entire life. Barring being born on Guam and returning to the States when I was 9 months old and then living in Wyoming for 5 years growing up and then the 6 years we lived in the South, I've lived in Utah. So twelve years, give or take, outside of Utah, and 28 in it.
The culture and climate has been what I've known for 28 years, though the lifestyle is a tad different since I have my backyard farm and garden to tend to that I haven't had before in Utah.
But I miss the magic. Believe it or not, I even sometimes miss the thrill of getting lost on a road I've never navigated on, only to find it open up into a place that I recognize. I know these roads like the back of my hand. There is rarely a thrill of the unknown place for me here. But I don't think I need that for things to seem exciting. I just need a new attitude.
So I'm going to start watching for the magic in common life again. I'm going to start writing about it here and talking about it more often in regular conversation, too.
For instance, yesterday I went on a walk with Emily up the big hill bordering on the foothills of the mountain by our house. Up I went, hiking higher and higher, but the slope was pretty gradual and though my legs burned, I was breathing easy. A jot in the road and back up, this time steeper. As I climbed that angle, my breathing became heavier and more ragged. I got to the top, crossed the road, and then started the decline. The further down I went I noticed my heartrate slowing, my breath getting back to normal and then finally feeling comfortable once again as I neared my house. It is the perfect hill for aerobic activity. I'm glad that I figured that out after living here for only 7 years. ;)
As I walked I paid attention to the yards of the houses around me. Most were mowed. Some were landscaped beautifully, others sparsley. I noticed a flower bed of peonies and even stopped to smell their lovely perfume as I passed by. Men were out using their weed eaters and the smell of the freshly cut grass and weeds smelled so alive and fresh. A little dog, tied up near a house, barked at us defensivly, while another, a black lab, wagged its tailed and seemed to plead to go with us from its backyard. The sunshine was directly in my eyes on the way up, but on the way back down it let me see the distant valleys, a lake, and highways with cars and trucks that looked matchbox size. A slight breeze blew the whole time, at first being a little chilly, but after ascending to the highest point and starting down it instead felt refreshing and soothing.
Later on in the day I started feeling like I had caught the stomach bug Michael had a few days back, so I laid in bed and watched tv while the kids played the x-box, jumped on the trampoline, swung on the swings, and milled in and out of my bedroom. The entire time I had up on the computer screen, my three favorite pictures I've chosen so far, trading between each to see if I tire of them and trying to determine which is my favorite. I won't tell you which three, because I really want to see which one you'll come up with for yourself, but I think I've picked it. It could change though, and has before even when I've been set on just one. Sometimes its allure is short lived and I find I tire of it quickly. Keep telling me your favorites, and thanks to those of you who already have. :)
The sun is shining brightly today, and the trees' leaves are backed by a brillant blue sky. It looks like the perfect, magical day.