When I lived in Africa and France, it was a new experience for me to have walls all around the property of all the houses. That’s because where I was raised, most people didn’t have walls or even fences around their properties.
We were on neighborly terms with all our neighbors, and I was taught that when new neighbors move in, you bake them some cookies and take them over or do some other act of kindness to make them feel welcome.
When my husband and I moved into our present home, there was no fence.
It was after I planted a garden and the rabbit population started eating the plants before they had a chance to grow and produce, that we decided to put in a fence.
It doesn’t surround the entire property, just the garden, with a little extra space for a composter, a canopy swing, a chiminea, and a small tool shed, with a little extra room to walk around.
Even though the swing’s canopy is long-gone and my husband had to fashion a seat of cedar boards,😊 I still love to sit on that swing, in our fenced-in area, whenever the weather is nice!
I love to just sit and swing, soaking up the sun if it’s a little chilly or sitting in the shade when it’s a hot summer morning. I like to listen incognito to the birds chirping, the tree frogs, the crickets, and the cicadas. When those are lacking, I like to hear traffic sounds, the neighbor blowing leaves, a scolding squirrel, or just the quiet peacefulness.
Occasionally, I’ll hear geese honking or ducks quacking as they fly over.
Sometimes I’ll see an airplane barely visible far above, or swallows eating their fill on the wing. One year we even had a bat for a while.
The fence does not make me completely invisible, but it forms a bit of a semi-privacy screen and is far enough from the neighbors that I feel like it’s a peaceful, private place to be still and wonder at the hustle and bustle and beauty of God’s creation.
So, yes, today I am thankful for our fence!
Through it, God gives me the gift of quiet reflection, of tranquility, of listening to the outdoor sounds and to the voice of God through nature and as His Spirit moves in the stillness of my heart.
“Be still, and know that I am God.…” Psalm 46:10a
How about you? Do you have a fence or wall that creates privacy from neighbors? Or do you have other means of enjoying the outdoors that you’d like to share?
God bless you, friends! 🙂