Breathing Space

When we moved into our house 22 years ago this month, we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We loved the rural feel of our new hometown, surrounded by trees and open fields. But our realtor at the time warned us what was coming. She told us not to get too attached to any schools because our kids wouldn’t stay there very long. I had no idea what she meant.

In 1998, the population in Loudoun County, VA was around 142,000 people. By the 2010 census, the population had jumped to 312,000 and was still growing.

As it turns out, the realtor was right. Our kids attended two elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. We never moved. The school boundaries kept changing to keep up with the exploding population growth.

Today, our county’s population estimate is 412,000. Clearly, we no longer live in the middle of nowhere!

If Trees Could Talk

As you might imagine, it is difficult finding any open or green space to stroll along in such a crowded area. But I am fortunate to live beside one (as yet) unspoiled street that is still lined with trees and wildflowers. There are several older homes on the street, and one in particular has a massive tree in the front yard. I have no idea what type of tree it is. It has a huge trunk and stands at least three stories tall. My arms would never reach around it. On my morning walks, I often stop just to gaze up into its branches. I couldn’t guess the age of the tree, but I’ll bet if it could talk it would have some amazing stories to tell.

A Need to Breathe

I know I talk about this often, but as I age I am discovering how much I miss being outdoors. Part of that may be because I work indoors, seated at a desk all day.

The other part is remembering my childhood when I was always outdoors. Year-round, in every kind of weather. My playground was the beach in my back yard, and my weekends were often spent camping in the mountains with my family. If I wasn’t splashing in tidal pools, then I was picking up pinecones and chasing chipmunks. To this day, I love the familiar scents of ocean surf and campfires.

At some point I think we all tire of the canned “Febrezey” air and blue screens that surround us. That’s the perfect time to step outside and breathe in the fresh air and blue skies beyond your front door.

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. – Psalms‬ ‭145:5‬