What is beauty?

I’m using up my last two pints of 2022 tomato sauce today. I’ve been hoarding them, waiting for a special occasion I suppose. Well tonight is the night, I will share my special sauce with a friend we’re having over for dinner.

As I pulled these two jars from the pantry I considered all the change since I canned them. I had the baby that was in my belly and we moved our house and ministry to the next town over. Even though my freezer is full of tomatoes to cook down, I’m a bit concerned that I won’t actually get any jars on the shelf for this winter. Deep down, maybe I’m most in turmoil about who I am since this move. So for some reason hoarding some of my last jars of 2022 produce has seemed comforting.

Last year I felt like I had settled into a pretty good homesteading routine. Now I’m in the middle of town on a double lot. We have a big yard for here, but not enough for my milk cow desires. We have plans for a cute garden in the back near the shed next summer, but how much will I really be able to grow in a small space?

I feel like now that the craziness of moving and summer and schoolhouse renovations is winding down, I’m left with the question: “Do I like living here?”.

And for the most part the answer is yes, but there are things that I miss. I miss the view over the hill out the kitchen window. I miss the quiet walks. I miss the natural beauty.

Town is not as aesthetically pleasing to me. And I know that it shouldn’t matter, but I do enjoy beauty. I’m sure that comes with the photography passion. Capturing beautiful things in interesting ways is such a joyful expression of creativity for me.

I’ve had some conversations with Brad about this recently and he talks about how much he loves town because there are so many interesting people and things around all the time. And maybe I just need to switch my definition of beauty a little. As someone who has lived in the country for the majority of my life, I tend to think that rural life is beautiful. But I want to see the crooked sidewalks, the bland alleys, and the haphazard rows of houses as beautiful too. Not because they are aesthetically pleasing, but because they are full of life and stories.

So my prayer is that my perspective shifts as we live here. And I begin to find beauty amongst the ordinary that is around me. The cars parked along the street, the man walking his big fluffy dog, and the kids running through our yard as if it’s their own.

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