February 1, 2012

A Simple Life

There are days when I wake up and wonder how the heck did I end up in New Hampshire? Well, we wanted a house with a yard—a big yard. So 18-years ago, we packed up lock, stock and barrel and moved to the woods and into our new home without looking back. (Okay, we looked back a little, sometimes a lot in those early days.) But the real story is that my husband and I wanted to live a quieter existence. We wanted to be able to walk outside and see the moon and the stars, and miles and miles of sky and land. We wanted a place that allowed us to choose what we wanted to do each day, a place that didn’t have a mall, a McDonalds, or a 7-Eleven. We wanted parks and ponds and dirt roads. We wanted snow and fresh air and trees, lots and lots of trees.

Of course we have cell phones, satellite television (there’s no cable in the woods), and internet access. Our movies get shipped via Netflix or can be found in town at Redbox. But we don’t have to wait in traffic or stand in line for much. We can walk down the street without bumping elbows or jockeying for position. We can wander outside at night and hear the sounds of the woods echo in the distance.
Once in a while, I’ll head down to the nearest mall (40 miles away), and we’ll grab a bite to eat, pick up what we came for, and head home wondering why we ever made the trip in the first place. And when we head back home to Massachusetts, we muscle our way through the traffic like the locals we were and thank goodness we don’t have to go through that on a daily basis ever again. Having lived and worked in Boston for many years, David and I are veterans at handling all kinds of traffic woes. I sat through the southeast expressway construction for years, doubling, sometimes tripling the amount of time it would take me to get home. Living in the suburbs had little appeal. We either had to stay in the city or move away—far, far away.
So I traded in my high heels and designer suits for a pair of shearling-lined flats and yoga pants. I traded lunch on Newbury Street for picnics in my backyard. I swapped out polished marble floors for rough-hewn wood. I gave up walking the dog on a leash for plenty of room for him to roam and run to his heart’s delight. And most importantly, I traded all of the scheduling and doing and have-tos, for stillness and quiet. For Sunday suppers and walks in those woods. For endless Saturdays not filled with errands and obligations. For time to swim in the pond whenever I want. To think and feel and live.
Living out here in my quiet, peaceful corner of the world, I learned to understand and appreciate that the good things in life are rarely found in a mall or while sitting in traffic or knocking yourself out when trying to climb the corporate ladder. 

I’m afraid of heights so I stay off ladders. It’s a simple choice for me.


Kristen516 said...

Kimberly, it sounds like a dream. There are times I'd love to move to a smaller town, more of a community...where I can walk to the library or the hardware store with the girls...and even to school. I'd love a more simple life without rushing here and there all the time (esp. work)...where I can just relax...and maybe that will come in time when my girls don't feel they need me 24/7, and maybe part of it is just me that needs to decide to just sit and be, instead of doing laundry and cleaning, etc.

Stephanie said...

I think you can find some of this if you just stand still. I don't know why we're always trying to do instead of be. This inspires me to just be.

Dee said...

I want to visit your neck of the woods.

Kimberly Merritt said...

I'm glad to know that we're all looking for a little more quiet and stillness in our lives. You don't have to live in the woods to get it either.

Thank you all for stopping by.