Longing is a weird feeling. There’s something kind of hollow-eyed and gaunt about it, as if you could eat and eat and eat but never get full. Or, maybe, it’s that itching down in your soul or the pit of your stomach that tells you there will always be something missing from your life. It’s not the same thing as “wanting” — not really. “Wanting” is easy. You want something, you get that something, and *poof*: no more “want”. Longing is the kind of soul-sucking need that feels as if it will eat you alive from the inside out.
Lately, I’ve found myself, more and more, in the uncomfortable position of longing for something I know I will likely never have. Even worse, the “something” I need, with every fiber of my being, isn’t tangible. If it was, I might be able to do something about these hunger pangs of the soul that crop up from time to time, taking me unawares.
I long for a simpler life.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just clean the clutter and cobwebs out of my brain … get rid of all the extraneous “stuff” crowding up my house and my life … and I’m home free. But it’s not as easy as all that. Things like living in a house that’s clutter-free, only having the things I truly need and use, and even ditching the people who stink up my life with their negativity and mind games aren’t enough for me. All of these are good things, and they would probably be a great start. But I want more. I want the whole shebang — that dream I’ve never possessed but always desired.
I want to live in a place that’s quiet, where I can listen to birds singing and hear the wind rustle through the leaves of the trees. I want to live in a place where people aren’t always in my face, screaming about their beliefs and thoughts and accusing me of hatred when I don’t agree with them. I want to look out my window and see fields and grass or woods with little paths leading through them. I want a white picket fence and a perfect, little garden where I can grow roses, tomatoes, peonies, and hydrangeas. I want to sit on my front porch with a cup of tea and watch the squirrels playing in the yard or the deer in the field or the butterflies landing on the vines crawling up the porch railings. I want to smell good, rich earth and green all around me. I want to see the stars and watch fireflies chasing each other through the falling dusk. I want to hear laughter as my daughter chases them through the grass.
I want to live in a small town, where people know me and care about me — where I can know them, too, and still care about them. I want to live somewhere where I don’t have to hear about babies being raped or little girls being killed in their own homes. I want to live in a place where people are honest and decent and try to do the right thing … and where they can admit when they have made a mistake. I want to live somewhere where people can agree to disagree, and where doing so doesn’t mean one person automatically hates the other. I want to live in a place where I can remind myself, each and every day, that people really are decent, underneath it all.