Fate and Following Dreams

Growing up I had a secret spot. It was a metal bridge crossing over top of a small dam in the river, thicketed by tall trees, the introduction on a pathway leading to a nature trail across the street from our favorite park. It was my place of solitude where I would run away anytime I needed.

Back when I very first pioneered my secret spot, there were horses in the pasture adjacent and a short cut to the river was through their field. I fell in love with these horses. I named them, I brought them apples and carrots and fed them from the palm of my hand. Sam was my very favorite, a friendly cream-colored colt who would follow me lovingly, his long nose placed next to my shoulder, while I walked towards my bridge. His beauty and stature petrified me with feverish childhood intoxication.

I have so many memories of my secret spot, of sitting on the bridge with my feet dangling, pointed downward at the fast flowing waterfall pushing through the dam below my shoes. I would often be writing in my journal furiously, pouring my young dramatic secrets. I wrote songs. I took naps. I cried. I prayed. Sometimes it would be the middle of the day, often it would be late at night while the stars and the moon shone brightly, the black sky blanketing me in solace. Sometimes it was warm summer nights, other times it was bitter cold winter evenings.

Even in college, when I moved away from home, I would find myself driving there on dark nights when life wasn't making sense. There was a boy in college (there is always a boy) who I was completely and regrettably in love with. He was not the kind of man I should love, but my naïve and tender heart could not stop loving him, no matter how hard I seemed to try. One night I drove to my spot and stood on that bridge, sulking in hopeless heartbreak, when I suddenly made the decision to throw my phone into the river so that I could not continue to call him in moments of weakness. It was stupid, but empowering and life changing, that moment when I watched my phone sink and disappear forever.

I am 31 years old now, and I continue to find new secret spots. I am quite convinced I could find a way to fully love the parts of anywhere that I lived. Any city, any town, any place I ended up. My heart is one that will effortlessly attach, quickly setting its sights on the good, wherever I go.

We have been living in our current space for three months now. We actually lived here together once before, you know. This space is where we spent our first year as newlyweds and where we first brought Jace home from the hospital as a tiny newborn babe. But then, in our young and newlywed, blissfully-oblivious-to-real-life mindsets, we grew antsy for a brand new big grown up home. And when Jace was only four months old, we found and fell in love with our Nibley home. It was a joy to be there in our Nibley home. It was an experience I would never take back.

But recently we grew out of that home. And not in the way that you have too many children for too little rooms, because there was plenty of living space. It was our souls that grew out of that home. It was our growth as human beings and our change through life experiences. The home we loved with all that we were, the home that will always hold a special place in our hearts, the home that in the end gave us incredible financial gain and freedom, the home that still occasionally appears in my dreams at night.

And now we are here. Just last April we sold that Nibley home and found a temporary place of relief in our first home again. We came back into this condo completely different people than when we had left it. I remember stepping through the door for the first time after our renter had moved, walking into the empty living room, standing on its smooth hardwood flooring, breathing in the familiar scent. It felt flawless in its familiarity. The same way you wait for an avocado to ripen before cutting it open, the way it sits on the counter maturing slowly while you bide your time in anticipation of that peak softness, being back here was cutting through the shell and discovering its perfection.

The first day we were officially moved into our condo it was a stormy spring day. I waded through boxes in the house and carried my yoga mat to the back patio where, just as I began my session, the rain started to pour from the sky. I kept with my yoga while the rain fell harder and harder, soaking my hair and clothes and running down my face. My mat became slippery, so I moved onto the hard cement ground. I was slow and precise, letting the cold rain immerse me, keeping my eyes closed while my face pointed to the sky.

Doing yoga in the pouring rain on the back patio of our new-old home felt like throwing a phone in the river: stupid and empowering and life changing.

My heart, my effortlessly attaching heart, has set its sights and wildly fallen in love with its surroundings. Our condo is right in the middle of town, mere minutes from restaurants and grocery stores. When I walk from the parking lot with the keys in my hand, following along a connecting sidewalk beneath tall trees filled with singing birds, it all makes me feel a little bit like Kathleen Kelly on the simpler streets of New York City. We have neighbors on either side of our home. The boys share a bedroom across the hall from ours, and we all share a bathroom smack in the middle. Our tiny kitchen with its rust orange painted walls doesn't have a kitchen table because we like to avoid a cluttered feel, so we have barstools tucked beneath the counter where we eat our meals. We have two tall bookshelves on either side of our leather couch in the living room, shelves that are filling quickly with thrifted paperback novels for fifty cents a piece. In the mornings I drink my coffee on my little fenced patio beneath purple leaved trees, a small strip of dirt with jalepeno plants and onions and snapdragons and two potted tomato plants on either side of me.

We are all crowded into 800 square feet, only, it doesn't feel crowded. It feels like a perfectly sized close knit family, one that has legs tangled through each other on the couch at night in front of zootopia playing on the tv. It feels like being a short few steps from Jace in the middle of the night when he comes into our bedroom to crawl into bed between us because he had a nightmare. It feels like less material things to fill rooms that we never even use. It feels like less space to clean and more life to live. It feels like simplicity in all of its finest forms.

It feels like home.

And now, we have plans. Isn't making plans amusing? In the long scheme, it is slightly senseless, making plans. And we have a two year plan, which is possibly comical, because the things life can throw at you in the space of two years! Deciding what we will do in two years feels like that game where you are blind folded and someone puts an object in your hands for you to feel and guess what you are holding. Two year plans feel like a speculation, like a possibility but not a surety, because you can not be sure.

Even so. We have two years. Why two years, you ask? It has something to do with living in your home for a certain amount of time after renting for so many years, to avoid paying capital gains taxes when you sell, but I won't bore you with the details.

We have two years to soak up our quaint condo in all of its glorious ease and simplicity. We have two years to save money and to travel and to play and to work. And in two years, we will likely sell our charming condo. We will take the money that we make from the condo and combine it with the money we have stashed away in an account that we can't touch until then. We will take all of this money and we will use it to pursue our dreams.

And who is to say what our dreams will be then? I would never dare to presume our dreams will not have changed, but right now? Right now those dreams entail ideas. Ideas like building a cabin in the mountains surrounded by pine trees, with a river in the backyard and not a neighbor in sight. Or, what if one of those lovely Victorian homes goes up for sale on Center Street, the ones with the bay windows and the porch roofs, where I could ride my bike two blocks to Great Harvest for a cup of coffee and a warm slice of freshly baked bread? And also, we can not take off the list any house in a canyon. There are such beautiful canyons in this valley. Smithfield, Green, Providence, Blacksmith Fork. Who is to say that if the perfect home became available then, in the perfect neighborhood, in one of those perfect canyons, that we wouldn't jump at the opportunity?

Do you see what I mean, about making plans? But we make them anyway. Lovely, dream-coma-inducing, marvelous, provisional plans.

For now, we are living easy. Living easy is nice. It is slow, simple and uncomplicated to perfection. If I believed in fate, I would believe that fate had always known we would end up back here. It almost feels as though there is a fresh-into-heaven angel out there who has had his hand in our lives this year because he wants so badly to see us happy.

Whatever the case may be, I like to believe that's true.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had your determination, and your will to act on your crazy dreams. I have been wanting to move away for the last five years... Alaska, Montana, SLC, maybe buy farm land in Idaho and live off the grid. I wish I could walk away at times. I loved your house, and your yard was coming along nicely. You guys worked a ton. I am glad things are falling together for you guys.