Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finding Eden

'God gave men all earth to love
But since their hearts are small
Ordained for each, one spot should prove
Beloved over all'

- Rudyard Kipling

'Potential Paradise'
This was the 'real estate talk' that advertised our property for sale, with the emphasis on the potential rather than the paradise. I do believe it was meant for us and that God had kept it for us, knowing it would be a place He could entrust to us, it was simply a beautiful place where we could raise the beautiful children that He had given us.
The property had sat on the market for over a year. I suppose those who had viewed it before we did saw the work. The weeds were rampant, lantana covered every clearing, rubbish was piled around, rusty corrugated iron tanks, mountains of plastic and partially buried beer and whiskey bottles.
The house also needed work, lots of work but we saw the potential and we saw the paradise, the sheer beauty of the forest with its magnificent trees, the views through the trees to farmland on the other side of the valley.
And there were many other saving graces. Around the house, gardens planted with flowering native and exotic shrubs, camellias, citrus trees, palms, cycads and a splendid grass tree.
The exterior of the house was white and I just love white houses. I gasped when I saw the Himalayan cedar and the Kashmiri cypress, it's graceful green fronds cascading like a waterfall. The trees reminded me of my love of Christmas and I began to envision how I could use the abundant greenery in my home at Christmas time as I love to decorate with natural materials. In some way the house reminded me of a Swiss chalet without the snow.
Inside, the house had rustic exposed beams painted a sage green
which complemented the colours of the garden outside the window. The kitchen and dining area were filled with light, the floors were tiled and there was a new country-style timber kitchen. There were also bookshelves on one wall, ceiling to floor (we have lots of books!) and plenty of room for our large square dining table.
The other rooms were less appealing, the bathroom cramped and poorly located off the dining room. The bedrooms were dark and dreary. The window and door frames were mismatched, there was no laundry but this did not deter us, we could change that one day.
What mattered most was that we loved the place. My husband saw the forest and it reminded him of his childhood, my children saw the trees to climb, places to build forts and play. I saw a home to beautify and a garden to tend.
We knew the location was perfect, ten minutes drive from town (a simply gorgeous country town) ten minutes from the nearest beach, close to the river. There were no other houses overlooking the property, our closest neighbours were cows grazing in the field that adjoined our forest. It was peaceful, secluded and yet not isolated. Our neighbours on this, one of the most scenic roads in the district were the loveliest, most hospitable people (we were yet to meet them of course.)
We had found our sanctuary, our place of delight, our eight acres of eden.

With love and joy,
Ann

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