When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with prairie life. A voracious reader, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books and shortly thereafter fell in love with the television series.

Now there were many reasons I loved the series, (Oh, Pa!) but I remember distinctly loving the physical lifestyle on the Wilder farm. I was captivated by what it took to survive in that day and age.

Fast forward to my teenage years. Newly able to gain employment, I was only interesting in summer jobs posted by local landscaping companies. My mother, not surprisingly, strongly discouraged that choice. I believe she thought it wasn’t appropriate (or smart) for a teenage girl to work alongside an all-male landscaping crew. (Okay, I’ll give her that.)

My love for outdoor work never waned, though.

There is something about the purity and simplicity of it that just seems natural and right to me.

As an adult, I live in one of those large, planned neighborhoods. It is perfect for families. There are playgrounds, a pool, tennis courts, a rec center and lots of walking paths.

Like I said, perfect for families.

But not perfect for me.

We have a terribly small backyard that backs up to four other terribly small backyards. I’ve barely got space to grow grass, let alone create a garden.

We make the best of it, of course. And despite my lifelong love for being outdoors and toiling the soil, our outdoor space has been sorely neglected these past few years due to work/life schedules.

This weekend I cleared my schedule and pushed myself outside to attend to the mess. (Weeds are from the devil, y’all.) It was one of the items that had been too long on my to-do list. CLEAN UP THE YARD had been on my agenda for weeks.

Funny thing though, instead of being met with a long, arduous and unpleasant job, I found it instead to be bliss.

I was like a madwoman unleashed. I tore up ground, ripped out shrubs and took a pickaxe to the property. (Who needs therapy, anyway?)  

I had forgotten just how important that part of my self was.

I was instantly inspired. My outlook changed and my smile was brighter than ever.

What started out as an overdue chore turned into something entirely different.

I have to be honest; it has prompted me to take another look back to see what other passions I might have lost.

I think it is sad when we (read: me) get so caught up the administrative details of life that we forget the simple pleasures that feed our soul.