“A harvest of peace is produced from a seed of contentment” Proverb
Growing up I took peace and contentment for granted. I was born and brought up in a small village in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park. My family knew everyone else who lived in the village and I had a safe, happy and peaceful life. I was a tomboy as a child and loved nothing better than roaming the Moors, helping my Dad to look after the various animals he kept (sheep, pigs, goats, etc.) and playing outside with my friends. I felt really free and the village and the Moors around it were like a huge playground for me to explore. Even as a teenager I still valued the beauty of the landscape in which I lived and preferred outdoor activities to going into town with my friends. My now husband lived in the next village along from me and when we met at the age of 16, it was brilliant to find a kindred spirit who also loved the rural lifestyle we had been born into.
At the age of 18 my now husband and I moved to the city of Nottingham where he went to university. We lived in a small-ish flat just outside the city centre. We were on the third floor and had a small balcony but no other outside space. In every direction was concrete! We were sandwiched between two student halls next to a busy road with the noise of sirens being an almost constant feature. It was a massive shock to the system and I became anxious about going outside the flat because it was almost a sensory overload. There were so many people everywhere, so much traffic, so much noise. I felt overwhelmed. I had to really fight against my anxiety each day in order to not allow it to dominate my existence. And it was just an existence. My husband felt it too and neither of us was happy. We knew that there would be better career opportunities if we stayed in the city but we chose to put our happiness first and returned home after he completed his degree.
We now live in a small market town on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. We have a garden that we enjoy looking after and if we fancy going for a walk on the Moors or exploring our local coastline we can easily do so. We took a leap of faith moving back to the place we feel most at peace. It hasn’t always been easy to feel as though we have made the right choice but now, three years later, we know that we did the best thing for us. My husband has been able to get a good job in his chosen field and, while jobs are more scarce for myself, I wouldn’t give up this lifestyle for anything. I’m glad I tried city living but at heart I will always be a country girl. My husband and I have made peace and contentment a priority and we will never let it slip through our fingers again.