Currently, I’m reading LIVING SPACES, Bringing Style and Spirit to Your Home authored by Marlee LeDai. It is an easy read that invites the reader to tour their own home, room by room, inside and out, looking for opportunities to “bring style and spirit” into their home. As the publisher states, “Marlee invites you to recognize the beauty of your home just as it is-or as you want it to be…”.
One chapter in particular caught my eye, “Beautiful Borders and Boundaries.” This chapter focuses on your outdoor living spaces, specifically how they are landscaped and tackles the challenging issue of fences.
Eight years ago, when we constructed our home in a new subdivision in a one-stoplight-town at the edge of civilization, our backyard was bordered by a farm field. With no neighbors, there was little need for mini blinds let alone privacy fences. Unfortunately, urban sprawl crept in, the farmer sold off, and my husband and I find ourselves back in suburbia, the very place we tried to escape from.
Like the author, I have a disdain for fences and am feeling particularly challenged myself right now by my neighbors’ decisions to put up fencing. To quote Marlee, “Is your life hemmed in by gawky fences? Is your mental energy drained by enclosures meant to keep others out but that serve to imprison you? Are your horizons cut off by a length of ugly planks?” *sigh*
Marlee’s suggestion to tackle this situation? Look at the fencing in a different light. As a possible resource to your advantage. “Do something you’ve never done before: Dream big. Move on. Use what’s in your own backyard.”
So I am. I am dreaming big…making plans…enlarging my living space. Instead of the small raised planting bed that my husband built for me to garden in with my daughter, I am sketching out plans for my very own potager (kitchen garden) on the south side of our property. Overly ambitious? Perhaps, but I wish to create a “workable and beautiful landscape that welcomes others into our territory-physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”
As the Czech proverb says, “Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.”