A dear friend of mine questioned my desire to move to the country. She wondered why I would deliberately move to an environment that required more work and more energy at a time in my life when perhaps most people are planning to do the opposite. So Im guessing others may be equally perplexed.
I have lived in the city all of my life, and in this little terrace house for more than thirty years as a promise my bride and I made to each other to give our children a sense of community while they grew up. Both my bride and I grew up in military families and moved every few years so that made sense to both of us. Living inner city has provided us with many great advantages in that time. We can walk to any one of 200 restaurants, thirty cafes, half a dozen pubs and several parks. We can walk to work in the centre of the city.
The down side of that is the housing prices have risen to the point that few people can afford to own their own property which means a largely transient population. The very community that we once insisted upon has reduced in size and almost vanished. A smattering of local housing com, pretty much ensures a steady supply of pretty badly behaved kids and a few druggies.
We have seen escalating development in our area that also reduces the amenity. Though it is years ago now, we had building work going on next door every day of the week for three years. The development behind us during the week and the next door neighbours on the weekends. That process tested my patience but also reminded me that my sense of peace and quiet is totally in the hands of my neighbours.
I have become completely disconnected with the natural world. It really worries me that I can pick up a piece of fruit or a vegetable in the supermarket and I can’t really tell you where or how it was grown or what it looked like on the tree or vine or bush that it came from. I find that really embarrassing.
Though living inner city is pretty cool sometimes and certainly very convenient, it is noisy and buzzing and never stops. When you are thirty that’s pretty cool but when you are fifty it is as bit of a nuisance really. My nights in the country, sitting on a log playing music, looking up at a million stars as the fire crackles is so fulfilling and peaceful that my heart fills with love for the world again.
Learning how to grow food, plant vegetables and fruit, fence and all the other farming skills is another bonus for me as I really crave learning new things. There are so many things that absolutely terrify me about the country too and I’m not brushing them under the carpet by any means but it holds a mystery for me that I can’t let go unquenched. ( I think I have just mixed a metaphor there, but you get my point Im sure)
It may prove in the end that I have left my run too late. I really hope that is not the case. I hope I get twenty years in the country on my beautiful elevated hundred acres and that those twenty years are full of hard work and adventures that I will be able to write about in my dotage. Does that make any sense to anyone? It does to me.