Off the Beaten Path: Living in the Country
I have lived in the country or mountains all my life. One of the smallest sizes of land we have had is our current 20 acres. I have no idea what it is like to have neighbors. I have no idea what it’s like to hear city noise. However, I do know what it’s like to connect with nature, plants, animals, and fresh air. To enjoy beautiful views, hear the crickets and toads serenade me to sleep, drive long roads over rolling hills, and to shoo a run-away cow back into its pasture.
Living in the Country is Therapy for my Soul
Currently I live on 20 acres about 12 miles from town. The dozen or so miles that separate me from civilization are long winding roads lined with mended fences, old oak trees, dilapidated barns, grazing land, and an occasional vineyard. It’s peaceful. Somehow the long day is just stripped away as I pass pastureland dotted with cows, sheep, horses, goats, and white boxy beehives. The bumper to bumper traffic, long lines, and impatient people fade away the farther I drive. I’m still taken aback when I catch a glimpse of wildlife; a turkey, a deer, or racoon. Or the beauty of nature; a roaring creek after a rainstorm, a fallen tree, or blooming wildflowers creating a blanket of color.
There’s always a curiosity about what’s around the next corner, a group of cyclists, a slow-moving tractor, or a fox darting across the road. The unpredictability is what makes the drive extraordinary. But the predictability is just as special. I know the exact stretch of road where the two pigs love to hang out. I know the precise moment when I will see the llamas with their toothy grins and adorable looks waiting to crane their necks to watch me drive by. I love to cross over the one-lane bridge that straddles the creek that looks as if it was mined a hundred years ago. I eagerly watch the massive blackberry patch coating a half mile stretch, anticipating the moment when I can pull over and snack on a few. Some might think the drive is a waste of time, for me it’s a familiar rhythm that is welcomed.