On the other side of my backyard fence, there's twenty-four acres of farmland. Beyond the farmland, there's an expanse of rolling mountainside which some, depending where they hail from, would merely consider a sizable hill.
Whether hill or mountain, it's a view that I've come to love. Moreover, our location lets me imagine that I live deep in the country even though I can drive to both the grocery store and Wal-Mart in under five minutes.
The backyard is pleasant in the morning when it's lit with early sunshine. It's functional and happy in the afternoon when it teems with my daughters and their neighborhood friends who holler and laugh and shoot each other with Nerf guns and track grass through my kitchen on their way to my refrigerator where, much to my chagrin, they always change the setting from cubed to crushed ice.
But the best time in my backyard happens after dinner -- that elusive hour when the temperature and the lighting is just right, when the grass is lush and the flowers are vibrant, when I swear that heaven itself touches down.
Those moments, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in this world besides my backyard.
After we tuck the girls into bed, my husband and I walk through the yard together. Strolling the grounds, I reckon. We deadhead flowers and pluck any noticeable weeds, but mostly I absorb the surroundings. We also talk, conversation ebbing and flowing, sometimes simple -- Here, smell this flower -- and sometimes from the depths as we hash out concerns and disappointments, hopes and dreams.
There's something healing and whole about these late evening walks, something that makes me feel grounded and tethered in the best possible ways, something that helps to quell the crazy and the striving that's known to happen in my head and heart, something that silences me in gratitude yet makes me want to shout praise to God for his unfailing goodness, for the simple pleasures on this green earth, for my backyard.