17 January 2011

On Wood Glen Pond :: January

This begins my modest commitment to revisit this space.  I will make no promises that it will be daily, or even weekly.  Today I wish to share one bit about our new life here which I cannot be more thankful for.

When we first visited the idea of moving back to my hometown, we knew we wanted to live by one of the many lakes.  We felt that if we couldn't be near the mountains, we should at least live in a place that affords our children some modicum of natural presence.  I personally couldn't tolerate moving into a bland beige neighborhood with treeless expanses of bluegrass lawns, broken only by fences and asphalt.  Fortunately there are several lakes to choose from here, each community with its own culture and amenities.

We settled on a lake community based on its proximity to the city, closer access to the airport, and the convenience of being at the midpoint between the grandparents' homes.  Once that decision was made, we spent hours picking over the MLS listings, weighing and considering all the characteristics of the homes and the streets and the fingers of the lake. We drove out and spent a few days with our realtor touring houses.  Many of them were immediately off the list for one reason or another. Our list of requirements included a private office for Jesse, since he works at home when he's not traveling. We hoped that his office could be in a walk-out basement.  We sought a house that would have room for me to have a studio of my own, which I have not had since Zoe was born. Also needed was a ground-level master bedroom, in the event that my MS progresses to the point of me being unable to easily take the stairs.

The house which came to be ours met these requirements. It was not a house in which I instantly felt at home, nor did I even *like* it much, at first. But the location of the home wooed me with its possibility. Standing outside on the soft spring grass, surrounded by the lovely blossoms of redbud trees, I had the sense that we were not living in the suburbs, but rather in some magical Thoreauvian wilderness. The treed land behind our home slopes down to the edge of a small pond, and then again to the shore of the lake where we keep our little rowboat. In the summertime, nearly all the homes which encircle this small valley are obscured by trees. I felt then, as I do now, that the surrounding landscape would enable us to remain as anchored to nature as we were in Colorado. In anticipation of a great loneliness for the mountains, I wished to find an ideal space of green.

For now, our pond (for I have come to think of it as ours) is covered in a thick coat of ice and snow.  The land around is also muted thus, surrounded by mostly barren trees and bereft of the busy wildlife community we came to know over the summer.  Birds still come daily to chatter at our feeder, leaving tiny imprints in the snow along the porch railing. The sloping hills have proven perfect for sledding, and a gathering place for the neighborhood children.

This house has been slow to charm me.  Pulling up worn carpet, applying many fresh coats of paint, I am beginning to see all the potential it offers.  There are some moments when it even feels like home.  But my spirits are always, always lifted when I look out the kitchen windows into the magical world beyond. This year I look forward to making this house our home, embraced and grounded by the landscape around us, on Wood Glen Pond.