The easiness of living in a rural setting just feels so natural to me. I was born and raised in the city. Our house was on a bus route, with a train yard a block away and with the airport just on the other side of that. I can remember so many times being mad at my dad for not moving us out to the small town or farm that he got to grow up on. That is exactly how I looked at it too! Why was he so lucky that he got to live on a farm as a boy?
Each time we would venture out to the farm where his family lived I can remember the excitement growing as we got closer and closer. That excitement was because soon I knew we would be free to run like the wind. I loved that freedom I felt when we burst out the doors of the car.
Not that we didn’t have freedom growing up in the city. It was different back then compared to now. Growing up, I would leave the house shortly after Saturday morning cartoons turned into that wrestling show that my brothers liked to watch. I never understood how they could be so excited to watch something so obviously fake!
Once outside, I would head up to my best friend’s house a couple doors down and we would occupy ourselves wandering or playing till one of our moms would yell that it was time to come home for dinner. I’d race home, eat as quickly as I could and head out again. If it wasn’t my turn to do dishes.
But the freedom wasn’t the same in the city. On the farm if just felt different. There was more areas to explore. There was more freedom to move. There was a freedom that I possessed that just felt at home inside me.
The adventures of a day on the farm might include a very long walk up the gravel road to the lake that was at the end. Or it might be building a fort in the stack of hay out back. Well that adventure only lasted as long as we didn’t get caught. And we knew to stay away from the dangers out on the farm. Do not go in where the bull is; he was not very welcoming to company. Oh and the geese. Those little bastards where mean!
In the city I felt I was trapped in a one block radius. If I wanted to escape that one block radius I was allowed, I had to tell my mom or my dad. They were the deciding factor on whether or not I could explore. I need permission in the city to just go. Not on the farm. We would walk for miles and miles on a sunny day. And we never told anyone where we were going. We were just ‘around’.
Today I live in between those 2 worlds. My house is in a hamlet about 20 minutes outside of the city. There are no stores or street lights in my area but I still have neighbors. The traffic is very light out here. Only the people that live out here or visitors ever come out this way. My kids are free to explore the many areas around us. The open fields that more than once we have gotten a quad or skidoo stuck in. The small secluded treed areas that my kids have played hide and seek in. Well at least that’s what they told me they were doing. Weird, but each time they came home with flattened coins like they had been putting them on the tracks and waiting for the trains to come. (Yes, I am well aware of how dangerous this is. And trust me, after my freak out, they do too).
Being away from the hustle and bustle of the city still feels very natural to me. But I get to enjoy the conveniences that a short drive to the city offers. I really have no intention of ever living in the city again. It’s just not my style. It makes me anxious and nervous. It does not feel welcoming at all. It feels stuffy and contained. It’s nice to visit, but I sure like that dust behind my car taking me home on the gravel road.
To my freedom.