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Big Canoe, GA (usa)

Back to Nature

In November of 2016, after careful consideration, my husband and I made the decision to move forward from renting an apartment to become home owners. A welcomed step in both our relationship, and the evolving relationships within our families. After having lived in a bustling, energetic university town, we were ready to slow things down a bit, lay down some roots, and reconnect with nature. We put our desires and wish list out into the universe, and were very quickly met with answers. Within thirty days of beginning our search, we closed on our dream home, and gracefully put city life behind us.

When Mark and I finally got together in 2015, we had both downsized our lifestyles and unburdened ourselves of most of our worldly possessions. While residing in Athens, having moved there with nothing but a newly signed marriage certificate and some much needed kitchen wares, we were well provided for with a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment in the sky. When making the decision to purchase a house, we knew we'd find ourselves in familiar territory once more, having to start all over again had become our norm, and so we faced it with excitement.

Our new home came with everything that we needed and more! Furniture, appliances, linens...a total blessing. In Athens, we had grown slightly attached to our view, having been situated on the top floor of an 8 story building, we weren't quite ready to let go of those beautiful sunrises. Sadly we no longer have a sunrise view, but in exchange we were provided with a sunset view overlooking mountain peaks, valleys, marble mines and farmlands along with a million dollar view of the downtown Atlanta skyline. Here we are, 60 miles from the cityscape, but strategically elevated on the top of Mount Disharoon (approximately 2,400 feet above sea level), in a warm and welcoming community adorably named, "Big Canoe".

Transitioning from city life to mountain life definitely came with its own set of unique challenges, with the largest obstacle being my inability to get down off of the top of said mountain. I guess we hadn't really put much thought into how I'd get around once moving here, let alone how I would spend my days. As a former city girl (Toronto), who grew up relying on public transportation and taxi's, to island life (Bali), getting around on a bicycle and eventually graduating to a motorized scooter, I found myself in familiar yet resistant territory yet again.

Admittedly I'm a late bloomer, but this was a little more difficult than I had hoped. Trapped inside of a house at 46 years of age, having to ask my husband to cart me around like a chauffeur, was not in the marital vows. So with a lot of pressure, I put on my big girl pants and took a driving course. It was a scary and painful process, but I am now a fully licensed driver with my very own car. *cue angels singing with harps*

Since learning to drive, I've rediscovered my freedom...and the best is still to come.

Living here has been interesting to say the least, as someone who hasn't been known for her pragmatism, I've had to learn to be a bit more of planner and less "airy fairy". A twenty five minute trip to the grocery store doesn't sound difficult, but, if you saw the winding roads, s-curves and hairpin turns that this community has, you'd understand that dashing out for a box of something isn't really that practical. So I've grown once again. I've learned how to provision for a week at a time, and totally accept this as the tradeoff for living in perpetual peace and tranquility.

As a social being, initially I struggled with the lack of social interaction that I had become so accustomed to in my previous locations, I found myself becoming depressed and reverting back to old patterns. But for the grace of God and the years of mindfulness meditation, I saw the path I was headed down and took action. Seasons of life are unstoppable, embrace without haste and face it with grace, this has become my new mantra so-to-speak. Wanting everything to stay the same is insanity, seeing life as it really is is the only course for me, so with that said, I let go of expectations and invited in exploration.

Having a purpose is to be human, uncovering that it is all in you already is a silent agreement made between self and source. Knowing that whatever I do from day to day need not be glamorous to anyone, much less align with everyone you meet was something I struggled with for years. The desire to make myself sound bigger or better than I am, almost always led to more suffering. So here I am, in another chapter, doing what I do best, taking care of others.

I feel so honored to be chosen as a caregiver for two amazing kids, getting paid to play, go out on fun adventures in nature while sharing what's on my heart with their developing minds. Not only that, my commute is stress-free, it's literally ten minutes down the mountain. Slowly driving through carefully carved out tree-lined roads, met with all kinds of beautiful wildlife (deer, wild turkeys, hawks, squirrels - these little creatures really remind you to drive with awareness, and even the rare but exciting citing of black bears), crossing over a dam with a gorgeous lake is the icing on the cake.

We are 8 months into this new community, and though we've been through some unexpected ups and downs, we have grown closer to each other and ourselves. Unsure of what is in store for our future, but fully in love with life. Nature has a way with pointing you in the right direction, when the winds of change are in the air, always let go and sail. You may think you're being swept away, but in reality, you're being swept up into the hands of God.

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