Several of our friends have noticed that the plot of land isn’t quite what we’ve always envisioned. At the moment it is bare and exposed, a largely empty field sandwiched between two major roads. There will be traffic noise. We are also not planning to build a round house which is what Ben had wanted to do. Ideally in woodland although that is almost impossible to get permission for unless you work in the woods and even then you have to prove you need to be there all the time. We are intending to get a company to build the house for us which again is not what Ben would have chosen.

There are always constraints, challenges, reasons for making a different choice. For us this is a giant and exciting adventure but it isn’t the whole of everything. First, our lives will continue. Trying to serve God, to raise and cherish our children. To remain fed, clothed and reasonably clean. To spend time with family and friends. What we don’t want is for this to take over. One key reason to move is to be nearer our church in Walsall. Secondly we’d like to be in the countryside. These two factors are directly opposed to each other. What we’ve found is a piece of land close enough to Walsall that we can get there and to our friends’ houses quickly enough and be close enough that we can invite them to us. The cost of that is the noise of the nearby roads.

Whilst I am inclined to crave idyllic isolation that wouldn’t be good for me or our family so the compromise is an important and worthwhile one. We could also wait for something more suitable to come up. That’s a dilemma because it is always possible that something better is round the corner. On the other hand something better would cost more and we could wait for a while and find this moment has passed.

Some people say the ages of 7-11 are the Golden Years. I’m beginning to understand why. Red is 9. He enjoys hour upon hour of quiet time with a book or pad and pencil. He is curious and interested, engaged and fascinated by what he finds around him. It’s a really good age for a family adventure. Myrtle is getting to that kind of place too and would be perfectly suited to tearing down a hillside chasing the wind. She is planning which flowers to plant and wondering for how much of the year she can avoid wearing shoes. It feels like this is a great moment for us. A moment in which being together is the key thing. If it all goes wrong it will be tough for me and Ben but I have a feeling the kids would rather enjoy it. Sometimes they have a firmer grasp on perspective. It’s a good time for embarking on a wild scheme together. This time is fleeting and this seems like the right way to make the most of it. Together.

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