taking little steps now to enjoy our lives

working with what we have

We’ve lived in our current home for 7 years and one of the things that I’ve always wished it had, was a big porch. So this is on the top of my list of “must haves” for our new place. On Friday night, Jack and I were having one of our many discussions about moving and I said, “I am so ready. I just wish there was something that I could do to make it happen.” The thought of enjoying the cool evening air, watching fireflies from the porch, and just relaxing, produced such feelings of longing inside of me.

I woke up early the next morning, took my coffee outside, and sat on our little porch (it is just big enough for a chair) when the idea popped into my head: fix up the area by our side garden. I imagined getting some little fairly lights and a small table and a couple of chairs and just sitting there in the evenings. By that afternoon, this little garden spot was ready.

We had one broken solar light (that was left by the former owners and hasn’t worked in 3  years), still hanging in a tree, and every time I looked at it, I wished that I had more…but never bought them. Saturday afternoon, I bought a set of 6 and added them to our new space.

The total cost for this project, was $59 for the lights, (everything else was stuff that we had here and there but never pulled together), a couple hours of weeding, raking and clearing this very over-grown area. It’s not a porch, but it is the best that we can do with what we have right now….and what else is there but now?

Sometimes the manifestation of dreams/desires comes in one fell swoop and other times, it is step by step, like with the yard. This seems to be the way that prayer works in my life. I have a need, I express that desire and when I least expect it, an answer comes…but I have to be ready to hear it, because very often, the answer doesn’t quite fit my original vision.

In the past we might not have followed through on this idea because our ultimate dream is to move. But since it is highly unlikely that we will be moving before the end of the summer, what about now? Life is happening now. …I don’t want to put off enjoying it, longing to be someplace that my mind says will be better.

Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. Napoleon Hill

43 thoughts on “taking little steps now to enjoy our lives

  1. Lovely space you’ve developed, Mary! Particularly apt as I’ve been doing the same with my little patch outside. I have the urban version — no fireflies but lots of butterflies, room for a cup of tea, a journal, the sun and me. Thanks for your right-on blogging…love your gift!

  2. Such good advice as always Mary. We too have lit up our outdoor space with solar lights, dragonflies and hummingbirds, it really transforms the gardens and brings a lovely sense of peace.

  3. I love your new sitting area! You need a side table for your drink! You can do so much with your outdoor space, it looks so relaxing & inviting. 🙂

  4. “What are you doing today,with the dollar and quarter you’ve got”
    Mary, you always have a plan! Did the same with my dog lot, because that is where I like to spend the most of my time, and the dogs like it to:)

  5. Love your space! I am fortunate that I do have a front porch, yet sometimes I find myself sitting next to my own backyard garden and enjoying that view! It reminds me of a quote by the author Beryl Markham from her book: “Every day on safari is lived to the fullest because it is all that is guaranteed.” I enjoy your blogs! I wrote a blog article recently about enjoying summer sounds as I sat on my porch – you might enjoy it – http://marisageraghty.wordpress.com/

  6. The blessing here is that, while you wait for your ‘porch,’ you still have a wonderful outdoor spot that can be magical all by itself…a place where you can actually go to touch the earth and be surrounded with nature at her best.

    The peace that will be generated there just through recognition of what surrounds you, will be a small haven that you will come to love. Enjoy it. You are making a gift to yourself.

  7. Beautiful Mary ! We are right there with you in spirit. I can feel the breeze, enjoy the sounds of nature and watch the fire flies 🙂 Thanks for this posting, it brings back wonderful memories!

  8. What about NOW! Perfect! Your home and garden patio remind me of a David Winter’s cottage with a secret garden! I used to fantasize about his cottages! What a special spot, Mary! I agree with Juliet! a little bit of heaven! Enjoy! Much love…

  9. Dear Mary. Such a peaceful and inviting spot you have created. Isn’t it true that when we work with ‘what is already manifest’, we open the door for creation to bring us an even grander version of our vision? Your newly created porch is now ready to be the tranquil, uplifting spot you have longed for….a beautiful place for not only living within the now, but for generating the energy for your next lovely porch! Thank you for the reminder to be pro-active within the now…..in manifesting the dreams we envision NOW.

  10. Mary, you are rich beyond measure. It is wonderful that you have awaken to the blessing that was already yours. Living in Manhattan, where Mayor Bloomberg is talking about creating “micro apartments” measuring just 275 to 300 square feet (25.5 to 28 square meters), most of us New Yorkers can only dream about waking up to the gorgeous vista you enjoy. May you have many wonderful times there!

    • Thank you Patricia…I often need to remind myself that it is a gift to even have a yard

  11. Hi Mary…..up here in the North Country (above the notches) of NH we are blessed with many “little pieces of heaven” all around us. Pam and Ali and I make it a point to visit one or more of our favorites each week with a picnic lunch/dinner. But our closest such place is right here on our small porch…..with a bit of thought we have turned it into a little bistro, just large enough for the two of us (and Ali….who occasionally takes up more than her alloted space!) to enjoy afternoon tea and sometimes a light dinner. It is a wonderful place to sit, talk, relax and enjoy the fresh air of the North Country. And a good place to “bless and release” any problems we think we have at the moment. Thanks, Mary, as always for helping us to keep things in perspective. Ken

    • Ken, how is Ali? – sounds like you are all enjoying your little slice of heaven, so I trust she is doing better. Certainly hope so! Love the idea of going outside to bless and release too, – you can almost imagine your cares and worries being swept away by the soft breezes (or for me in Arizona, baked to nothing in the sun!)

  12. I loved your blog today Mary….such an eye opener for all of us! Is there any possiblity that you could add a lovely enclosed porch to your exsisting home?
    Just a thought.

    • Thank you Julie…and to answer your question, “only if we could then move the entire thing to Middlebury!”

  13. Living in the moment, Mary, a good reminder to always do so. But having dreams and hopes are good too…it’s what puts me to sleep at night, dreaming of that screened in porch of my childhood cottage days and how cosy it was on rainy days to be able to sit out there reading my Nancy Drew books and listening to the quiet patter of the rain on the roof. I think in whatever way brings solace to our lives also brings us inner comfort. We all live in such diverse places here on this blog that it’s interesting to see how others create their own little piece of paradise where they live.
    SandyP, living on the softly rolling hills of the Niagara Escarpment, in Ontario, Canada

  14. Mary – Thank you for the reminder to enjoy the gifts we have right in front of us. Sometimes they are taken for granted and are easy to overlook. (I love watching fireflies, too. They take me back to my childhood, running around barefoot in the backyard trying to gently catch them. I guess I could still do that, now that I think about it!)

  15. Hey Mary, I love it when you share a photo of yourself! I see the light in you.
    Cousin Nancy

  16. PS……once again my ageing memory fails me. I cannot remember if I provided a full update for Ali and her recent surgery…..thinking I did not, my apologies for being remiss. Just the other day Ali had her stitches out. Dr A says she is doing fine. The typing for her tumor is low risk for anything further. We are pleased with the result and trust all of this is behind us now. We all want to thank all of you who offered up your positive thoughts and prayers to help Ali (and us) through this. For you we are grateful. May you all be blessed with nothing but good thoughts throughout this day.
    Thanks again
    Pam, Ken & Ali

  17. I went outside at 6 a.m. this morning after walking the dogs to water my pots of vinca, about the only desert flower that can survive in our 110 degree days. My dogs love to come out with me to play. The patio is separated from the natural desert by only an iron fence (the posts are about six inches apart) – so we do have critters such as the Gila Monster of last week make their unannounced visits. This morning however, I thought my little Lucky was chasing a lizard, a favorite canine pastime, but I suddenly heard a rattle! and you guessed it, a four foot rattlesnake was coiled, hissing and ready to strike just six feet away from me and my hose. I dropped the hose, left it running! – my dogs seemed to sense to stay back and they followed me into the house with the magic promise of ‘cookie.’ Here, we are advised to call the non-emergency number for the fire dept. if a venomous creature is in your backyard, so that I did. Ten minutes later four firemen (dang, they were stud-ly hunks too!) were in my backyard and picked up the snake with a long hook where it was keeping cool in my honeysuckle bushes. All they do really is take it back to the desert and release it. (it is placed in a big plastic barrel for transport). They told us they get 5000 calls a year! My husband was off to the gym but made me promise not to go out on the patio. Hmm. Why I ask myself? On any day and at any time, there may be a less than desired guest out there, but again, how can one enjoy the moment if one lives only cautiously or in fear? Think I’ll trim back my honeysuckle though, which is prudent, but miss my morning time on the patio? No way! All our little slices of heaven, what an interesting pie we are making this morning!

  18. delightful, mary, i love love this post. and you! you’re just so fetching in this photo, lucky jack, lucky you

    • I appreciate that Virginia (and Jack will get a smile when he reads your comment later on tonight after I have gone to bed!)

  19. Mary I read your blog every day and I usually lurk silently, but today I feel I must say thank you. Often times your post or quotes are exactly what I need for the moment that I am in, and often I feel like your posts are speaking directly to me. I feel that was today. Thank you for showing me that life is happening now! I am going to go off and work on a project I have been putting off for too long becasue I was waiting for the perfect moment.

  20. I like the idea of being a good steward of what we have been given, and then the owner, “higher power”, may trust us with more. My sister says ” the more grateful we are for what we have, the more we are given to be grateful for”.

  21. Love this post! You have a such a gift for putting things in perspective. I also love the quote!
    Almost a year ago, I was in a very difficult place in my life and someone said to me ” right now, you have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” So simple, and a phrase I had heard many times before. But at this particular time, it had very significant meaning for me I can’t tell you how often I think of those words, and this quote reminded me of that.
    Thanks for bringing me a smile today. 🙂

  22. Mary,
    You always look so lovely. Thank you for the daily inspiration. I always smile when I am reminded of you. Enjoy your space!

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