Well, that was fun. I've discovered where Plenty lives. In community. The home of Enough. It's in the Land of Gratitude. And Joy? She camps in the Garden. And that's where I've been.
(I've gotten a few funny questions about what exactly I was doing that wasn't so appropriate anymore. There's several answers to that, but I think it comes down to doing so much on my own. This is the default status of most females, I think. We are prone to gathering friends & ducklings, attracting helpers & heros - then exhausting ourselves by taking care of them all to the very best of our abilities, at breakneck speed. Putting off pee breaks & our most coveted bites of food until the very last possible moment. And the friends, ducklings, heros & helpers step aside, not wanting to get run over. Then they take that last bite of food off our plates, thinking we didn't want it. SO... enough of all that.)
Here's a bit of Joy in the so-called sandpit of Barnstable, Cape Cod. (Yes, that's what I think, too. Not a grain of sand from my lens view, either. But that is what they say here.) No, this is a place of verdant soil, giant-seeking beanstalks & countless studio-worthy back buildings crowded by snapdragons, daisies, lillies-of-the-valley. Everywhere is a hand-carved wooden welcome sign, a bird-beloved feeder, a whimsical weather vane to let you know or guide you home.
Oh, the East. A strange & magical land to me. Where hugs are rare, but meaningful. The locals are quick to smile & quick to brush you off. They are both generous & brusk, their kitchens smell of creamed soups, baked goods & fried fresh catch. Their ancient homes are full of handmade love & welcome. Signs of nothing less than real work done with real hands. And not just long ago, by some far-away sock darner, but last Winter. Through the Spring. This morning. Easterners work their a**e* off. There I said it.
(More than Californians, they might wonder? Uh, yeah. We have sun all year round. 'Nuff said.)
This is the first year in 13 that it hasn't hurt sweetly to look at every shed. That I haven't felt pangs of gratitude & longing to know every moment that went into shingling every grey cottage. This is the first year that I haven't been so totally & completely bowled over by the beauty of it all that I can actually discern the differences between one property & the next. I can actually hear the logic in not buying a 300 year-old barn before I've really lived here in the Winter. It's good to feel in love & then to laugh at oneself, I think. It's that laughter that Joy offers. A bell in the garden.