Moving into a house has conferred a number of unforeseen advantages. The first one I discovered was that I now have a continuing relationship with the sky again, something I really only had before during my scant two years in student housing during my late teens. I see the stars and moon in the evenings, I see the sunset, I perceive the weather much more clearly. I’m looking forward to borrowing a telescope from Jonathan or Pat, come autumn.
The second advantage is a closer relationship with the vegetation. There is now fresh greenery outside the windows where recently I saw only bare branches. Every week the flower beds in the yard bring a new surprise as each new plant flowers. We have the loveliest view across the park and playground from our kitchen window.
I enjoyed the third unforeseen advantage this morning. Wearing only dressing gown, sunglasses and slippers, I took my tea cup, the new issue of Current Archaeology and our second-crappiest laptop and stepped out into the yard. We had a box-like balcony at the old place, but it had sunshine in the afternoons and evenings and got really hot in the summers, so we rarely sat there.
I type these words sitting at the garden table, sunshine in my face, a soft wind in my chest hair, a budding little lilac tree in front of me, and I see that it is all good. There is some birdsong, the drone of a bumblebee nearby and intermittently the distant swishing sound of cars passing by on the highway. But mostly it’s quiet.