….”The Crystal Ball”, by John Waterhouse
I want a new life.
Not a completely new one….just a majorily overhauled one. I really really really want a physical existance that supports and inhances my inner life. I want to own my own home in a lovely natural setting. I want time. Time to create. Time to rest. Time to do all of the things that have been in my heart for so long. Painting. Writing. Volunteering at the arboretum. Homemaking. Crafting. Cooking. Tending gardens and relationships and my spiritual life in a slower pace lifestyle that allows me to breathe.
Can I get real for a moment? At 50 years old, and after 30 years of doing it, hitting the commuter traffic every morning for some 9 to 5 desk job is getting old. Neither of my divorces were from wealthy guys – so I didn’t take away any booty in the breakups. My body is really beginning to complain from being locked up at a computer all day. I need to move! Bodies were made to move! And more than just flinching and strentching and coffee-gathering. Add two more hours a day making the commute (a frustratingly ridiculous short distance, really – only 12 miles each way) and ugh!
Southern California is a tough place to live when you’re a single gal, on a single income, trying to keep your head above water. Studio apartments go for $1000 a month. I stole my 3 bedroom, in today’s market. But it still takes well over 50% of my paycheck just to put the roof over our heads. Gas it snuggling up close to $3.00 a gallon. You practically need a second job just to pay for some a/c usage during the 100 degree plus weather (it was over 90 here day before yesterday).
Want to know what “faith” is? It’s thinking I’ll ever be able to afford a house on my own here. Even in the worst part of town, prices are ridiculous. Foreclosures are hitting the market faster than you can say Multiple Listing Service….and the only people I know who are buying houses are those taking down huge salaries, or those that are minorities and qualify for special funding programs. They don’t even need to be legal, in some cases.
So what’s a middle aged gal in the shrinking middle class to do, who wants freedom and financial security and TIME?
She begins writing.
She begins writing about her fantasy life….what it will look like, what it will feel like and smell like. She places herself as the main character, and allows her imagination to create that perfect life, as a perfect escape. Maybe that character will own the quaint, exclusive B&B she’s always dreamed of. Or the restaurant that serves only homemade breakfasts and lunches from ingredients purchased at the Farmer’s Market. It will be a place where the patrons will know each others names from visiting so often to enjoy fresh, hot scones and herbal teas while surrounded by the work of local artisans. Perhaps she’ll have that studio overlooking the ocean, or a hillside of trees, where she’ll put to canvas what’s in her heart, or put to paper that novel that’s been inside of her since 4th grade. She’ll bask in the spring sunshine as she prepares her garden, hands thrust in rich warm earth that brings her pleasure at the deepest core of her being. And in the Fall, she’ll harvest what she’s sown – the vegetables and flowers, the relationships and the inspiration. She will love and be loved, and will flow through the seasons of Life with peace, joy, creativity and a warm generousity born of a grateful heart.
I think I’ll name her Grace.