Sunday, 3 November 2013

Welcome to the County

Listen. I want to tell you a story.
A crazy thing happened this summer: I fell in love. Now before you get excited about this married mother of two falling in love, let me tell you that I fell in love with a place.
Sometime in June, probably when it started to get hot in the city and that all-too-familiar feeling of concrete claustrophobia creeped in, I reached out to friends of ours that live in Prince Edward County and crossed my fingers that inviting my family of four to their farmhouse would be accepted. It was. And we went.
When we first arrived to their place, looking all hungover I'm sure from our chaotic life here, the first thing I said to our hostess was, "so what do you guys DO around here?" she shrugged, somewhat dismissive, and said "I don't know, lots of stuff."
We spent three days at their beautiful home, swam in their pond out back, ate elk burgers, had a fish fry on the beach, reveled at our toddlers and how well they got along, ran into James Taylor's son in town, made up a crazy song or two, and laughed more than I had in a long time. On the Sunday morning before we were leaving, I strapped the baby in the carrier and went on a walk down a country road by myself. I saw two houses for sale. Before we left we went into both of those houses, and the next night, when we were back in Toronto, we put an offer in on the one across the road from our friends.
I thought we were just going to hang with our friends for the weekend and escape city life. There hadn't been any discussion of buying a property in the country. But we fell in love. And love makes you do crazy things.
We didn't get that house we put the offer on. It was heartbreaking but like all things that fall through, something better came along and we jumped on it during the most chaotic week of the summer, when I was sure my life was falling off its hinges. In a dramatic sweep of change with bank loan denials and all my staff quitting (yeah, that's a whole other story) and the money falling through and time almost running out but the whole thing coming together in the end, we bought a piece of land in Prince Edward County. Land. A sweet little house. A funky old barn. A stretch of green that my little boy and girl can run in. A perfect escape. A home that lights my heart with warmth and contentedness.

Do you want to know what I learned? Here it is...
Brian and I hadn't been talking about buying a property in the country, but we had been deeply questioning our lifestyle and our reasons for working hard and the madness of the daily grind. We'd been living next door to a now year-and-a-half-in demolition reno that has upset our home life tremendously (newborns and renos do not go together well) and hadn't had a sense of comfort or peace in a long time. I knew our dissatisfaction would make us hunt for peace of mind, whether we liked it or not.
This is how intention works. Intention is like sending a telegram to the Universe - one day it arrives and you get dialed in. On that magical weekend, we were dialed in. We were woken up by our own dream and it was time to act.
When dreams come calling, it's a beautiful thing. It's also messy and chaotic and usually has me flying by the seat of my pants. But I now firmly believe that we are meant to live on the edge of our seats. That's when the telegrams to the universe get a direct flight.

We took possession of our land on September 30th. We are just a month in and already everything feels it has changed, or at the very least has a new purpose.
As we were driving home today on the Loyalist Parkway (which is a drive that soothes my soul) I realized it would be tempting to say that purchasing our land is the last piece of a puzzle, but it's not that; the puzzle is ongoing and will keep me guessing and growing for the rest of my life. However, we found the piece that fits with a bunch of the ones that were lying disconnected and turned over. The County is the piece that connected all those other pieces, and now I am starting to see a picture forming.