For the Living

The white colonial on the corner of Park and Main has changed hands two or three times since I moved to Wareham. With successive owners, the clapboard has been repaired and repainted. The parking area is resurfaced and apartment doors replaced. The old stone wall remains the same, but the weeds are pulled out of it regularly. It’s a nice old house, but the really amazing thing is the yard.

Grass grows in the front, and lovely plantings welcome visitors up the walk. There’s an antique bicycle with petunias growing from its basket, bright flowering vines, birdbaths and feeders. From the sidewalk I can see a child’s climbing set, vegetable beds, and an arched walkway that must look amazing from many of the windows. There’s room in the yard to play croquet or badminton; there are also places to read, cook out, or grow pumpkins. Whoever planned and created this outdoor space made a place that serves everyone living there or visiting – and it’s beautiful to boot.

I’m sure if I took a close enough look I could find flaws – weeds, bare patches, damp corners. But that’s true of everything that lives and breathes. Beauty isn’t the same thing as perfection, especially where people and animals live, work, and play. The beauty of this yard is intended for the living of life, not for observation. I say a prayer of thanks when I walk by, for the creator of this place and the Creator of all places.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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