Friday, April 20, 2012
A Case for the Country
Over the past few years I've often found myself explaining - nay - justifying our decision to pack things up and move to the country. People's eyes go all wide and dreamy, their shock and wonder take over as they ask, But why? But how? For what? In the beginning, I had all sorts of fancy explanations up my sleeve, always ready with a less than genuine response. I don't remember what I said but it was probably something about wanting space, a desire to homestead, the need for "peace and quiet" (Fellow country dwellers, let us all pause and laugh for a moment at the idea of peace and quiet).
In the early days we felt like pioneers on those drives from Austin to the land, the car loaded down with coolers and snacks, the dogs' slobbering faces hanging out of windows with the joy of knowing exactly where they were headed. It was exotic and made me feel salt-of-the-earth-y. Now I realize it's not exotic so much as basic. It's the way people started out living.
Now, when people ask Why? I don't feel the need to justify. I just blink back at them and wonder Why are you in the city? What is that life? I don't have any fancy answers up my sleeve. And it's impossible to articulate the life you have chosen. What I know for sure is that, aside from the baby animals, there's nothing cute, quaint, or precious about this. It's work so hard sometimes places inside of you want to curl into a ball and sleep for a day. It's constant worry and doubt and concern. But with all of this comes days so full and expanded that I wonder what there was before this, and I sure as hell would never go back. I know this life isn't suited to everyone. Country-living means care-taking and stewardship and the type of hand gripping, sweat-inducing, muscle-pulling manual labor that reminds you - bodies are machines meant to move. Give me that pain and worry any day over a life indoors. I'll choose it every time.