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Room to Breathe

I’m trying out a new journal. I’ve always used a traditional variety, one that’s longer vertically and shorter across. But this one is different. It’s similar in size and shape to a guestbook. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but there are several things I admire about this particular book, the first being the quality. It’s outstanding. The cover itself is brightly patterned, with a hand stamped fabric. The construction is solid. The pages are substantially thick, but still lay flat when I’m writing in it. And there’s a helpful bookmark to make sure I don’t lose my place.

The thing I like most about the piece, though, is the spacing of the lines. There’s at least 50% more space between the lines than in my previous journal. What struck me the first day I used it was that visually the words have “room to breathe.” They stand out and make more of a statement. And if I need to come back and insert another word with an arrow, there’s plenty of room for that too. 

The phrase “room to breathe” made me think of our farm. So many of our guests at Purdon Groves are escaping the city or suburbs or maybe just their busy lives. What they’re searching for is space to breathe - literally and figuratively. I love that our farm provides that for them. I’ve experienced that on our property as well. Looking up into the inky blackness of a clear night, where the stars are so plentiful I couldn’t begin to count them, is an immediate reminder of the vastness of our universe. 

I may decide that this style of journal isn’t for me, but I love what using it has taught me - the life lessons that it’s opened up. As an “indoorsy” person myself, I wonder if this is how other non-camping types feel when they stay overnight at our farm? Consider: Choosing to do something that’s out of my comfort zone might be challenging, but it’s also eye opening and an opportunity to learn new things. Sometimes just getting away from the norm inspires creativity in a different way than when I’m stuck in my everyday routine. And there’s a therapeutic effect that takes place when in nature, interacting with grazing animals and livestock guardian dogs.

I love it when I learn something about myself and see it being played out in the lives of our guests. I guess you could say that I’m one of the lucky ones, even fortunate. But I like to think of myself as blessed.

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the June 29, 2024 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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