Life contains some events, transitional moments that mark significant changes for us. Marriage, the birth of children, buying or selling homes, divorce and death of loved ones are a just few. So many come to mind: starting a business or ministry, establishing a non-profit, kid leaving the nest, adopting a pet. My husband and I experienced a major life event this week, so I’ll mark it the way I do best: telling you about it.
Tuesday was my final morning at our beloved Florida home and I determined to savor it. Instead of robotically packing more boxes, I poured myself a mug of dark roast and headed out to the lanai just in time for a final mockingbird serenade. Those shrill notes were melodious sounds. Drinking in my favored waterside scene, I committed it to memory. If only I could add some mountains behind the houses to the west and change the summer climate, this location would be idyllic.
My sentimentality brought memories of the positive improvements Team Leach made to this property. We actually created this tranquil atmosphere of rest. I recall asking our friend, Jeff G. how he got so many bird varieties to visit his home. “Feed them. Give them a reason to stop by.” Seemed simple enough.
Jeff was right, of course. Bill and Jeff are always right, everyone knows that, LOL. So we installed bird feeders, pollinator plants to attract hummingbirds, monarchs and bees. We added flowers, a wispy pink hibiscus to the established landscape, plus seating and statues for a true garden feel. We battled the armadillos, mole crickets and snakes that attempted to homestead the front ornamental garden. Snakes: 5, Kate: 1 was the final score. Lose a battle, win the war.
What is it that we actually purchase when buying a house? The external structure and land, sure. The amenities (pool, tennis court, yard, view)? True.
We sold our house, but not our home. Intangibles await discovery: the morning sunlight as it reflects through the strategically positioned crystal chandelier (thank you, Jan S) revealing multiple tiny rainbows flickering on the foyer wall.
Box seats to Big and Little Blue herons, osprey, bald eagle, roseate spoonbill, cattle egret, snowy egret, mallards and muscovy come free with purchase. I wonder if they’ve ever heard the prehistoric call of Sand Hill Cranes, seen their awkward dance or spied their ginger babies?
Yes, new owners will add furniture and family to this space where they’ll create their own memories, but an atmosphere of rest, peace and tranquility cannot be bought. It is created, then intentionally maintained. Six years of prayer created a spiritual refuge here, noticeable … tangible. Like a beehive, each occupant adds their unique touch by the changes their effort builds. When we searched for our new house, we looked for a place with the setting, atmosphere and those special “built-ins” lovingly added by those who dwelt there before us. “By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established (Proverbs 24:3 NIV).
I will surely miss you tiny rainbows, mockingbirds and monarchs. I will miss our neighbors and keep in touch. You’ve been kind to us, Sunrise. Oh, so kind.
Wise people build
The cliché is true: home is where the heart is. We may have sold our house, but home is wherever Bill and I are together. Before you go, check out Proverbs 24:3-5 from Brian Simmons’s Passion Translation. It adds a fuller dimension to why God made us builders and what being wise looks like:
“Wise people are builders – they build families, businesses, communities,
And through intelligence and insight their enterprises are established and endure. Because of their skilled leadership, the hearts of people are filled with the treasures of wisdom and the pleasures of spiritual wealth.
Wisdom can make anyone into a mighty warrior,
And revelation-knowledge increases strength.”
© Kate Leach, March 31, 2018
Christian inspirational writer of truth that makes darkness tremble. Author of Lion in My Garden devotional.