June 08, 2009

Your Backyard Paradise Is Closer Than You Think

backyard paradise

I borrowed the title and picture from the cover of Home & Decor Magazine, which arrived in the mail today, to try to put a different slant on the point I made in my previous post. The magazine cover picture does look almost like a vacation spot — compare it, for example, to the Fear of Nothing cover painting. And I know people who have spent their vacation money on something like this to make their back yard look like a vacation. And after doing that, they went away on a vacation anyway. Because the back yard, however nice it looked, was still no substitute for a vacation.

Giving your back yard the look of a vacation is not enough to make you feel like you’re on vacation. The feeling you get from your back yard has a lot to do with what is inside the house. If a house is filled with hassles, the back yard is not far enough away to escape from them. How many of the possessions in your house are things that you are more than happy to get away from when you get a chance? Perhaps nearly all of them?

If you want home to be more like a vacation, you have to set it up that way. Set it up with the kind of possessions you would have on vacation. The stuff you like most, with less of the stuff that bothers you or gets in the way. When you reduce the clutter in the house, the house starts to look and feel a little more like a vacation house. And instead of the energy of the clutter spilling over into the back yard, the energy of the back yard begins to spill over into the house.

It becomes easier to notice and appreciate whatever is in the back yard. And it won’t so much matter whether it’s a forest or a desert, a neatly trimmed lawn or a meadow. Whatever is there gives you a chance to experience the elements of nature and make them a part of your daily life.

And so, if you’re looking for a backyard paradise, don’t start by ordering a swimming pool and a deck. Start by taking the clutter out of the house. That’s what really makes it work.

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