I’ve been thinking this week about how our days are like a dinner plate. A balanced dayis filledwith healthy portions. By the end of itwe feelsatisfied. An overwhelming day is like attending a buffet, where we fill our plates so full we can’t eat everything. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. And rather than feeling satisfied, we have this uncomfortable feeling of fullness.
As I write this it’s late Sunday morning. It’s one of those non-descript winter days. Overcast, grey and cold. The boy is in the shed pottering about. The dogs are lying beside the fire in there with him. I’vejusthad a hot shower to warm me up after taking them for a long walk this morning. There’s a chicken cooking in the oven, and Meg is lying beside the fire in the lounge keeping me company.
When I talk about living a quiet life, I’m talking about a life that feels slow. A life that is simple, has space for the things I enjoy doing and is free of clutter - both physical and mental. But the more I talk about my personal journey, the more I find the same type of resistance comes up from other people.
A friend once told me that the colour purple is healing. Maybe that’s what drew us to buying the Purple House. Within two weeks of moving the stress of the last couple of years caught up with us. Our relationship was teetering on the edge of an abyss. For a while it rocked back and forth, each of us desperately clinging to whatwas left. But we also knew we were good together. And for each other. Our dogs, my fiancé and I are a pack. And we have always fought hard to keep that pack together.
Before I packed up my whole life, the boy wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. He lived in a tiny shack in the middle of nowhere. He said it wasn’t for the faint-hearted. And being from the city hewas worriedI would struggle with the isolation. Not someone whois fazed bymuch, I was sure it would be fine. But to put his mind at rest I flew over to visit, a month before I was due to move.
After that initial earthquake life carried on as normal. Despite aftershock after earthquake after aftershock. They seemed never-ending but you got used to them. We started sleeping through anything less than a 4.0 tremor. And we began to roll our eyes at anything less than a 5.0. As if to say, ‘you call that an earthquake?!' Then Mother Nature decided to let us know she was still in charge.
On the 4th of September, 2010, a 7.1magnitudeearthquake hit our home town of Christchurch. Instinctively I was out of bed and standing in the doorway before I knew what was going on. I heard my sister call out from her bedroom, asking if I was ok? After letting her know I was my first thought was, ‘you have to be kidding me’! Today was the day of my sister’s wedding.