Sunday, March 2, 2008

Country Living

Charley at sunrise

For a woman who spent the first 35 years of her life in small to mid sized cities, I’m not sure where my love of country life comes from. I suspect it has something to do with the fun I always had at Brownie and Guide camps and camping with my family. There is nothing like the cool crisp morning air, the sounds of nature, the huge expanse of sky, the scent of the plants – both growing and decaying - to awaken the senses.

Take this morning, for example. Belle decided that 5:30 was the perfect time to get up, so by six o’clock, just as dawn was breaking, we were out in the barns feeding the piggies and getting ready for the day. The warm musty smell of twelve piggies amidst the straw and blankets, the oofs and erfs and squeaks and squeals as they greet me, the click of Belle’s nails on the wooden barn floor bring a sense of peace and purpose to the morning.

Out in the pasture, Belle and Charley and I enjoy our walk to the top of the rise. There we sit, watching the mist rise from the fields across the way, the sun’s weak rays washing a yellow glow over the pasture and casting the still-bare trees into silhouette. As we wend our way back down the trail, I breathe in the smells of the damp growth around the creek and listen to the music of hundreds of birds beginning their day. In just fifteen minutes, I see sparrows and Stellar jays, chickadees, swallows, robins, a female mallard, a flock of starlings, and two Northern flickers. A large hawk or young bald eagle flies high overhead, and a blue heron takes flight from the pond next door.

Last night, when I returned home from downtown Vancouver where I had dinner with my daughter and son-in-law, I stepped out of my car to hear the frogs filling the air with their music after the silence of winter hibernation, and I stood for ten minutes gazing at the cloudless night sky lit by millions of brilliant, twinkling stars.

I love my daughter and son-in-law deeply, and their new home is beautiful. The dinner was amazing (it's great to have a son-in-law who is a chef and a daughter who is an awesome cook in her own right!), the company wonderful, and the view from their new condo spectacular.

But even if I was guaranteed the winning ticket on the next big lottery, I wouldn’t trade my star-filled night sky and the sounds of nature for their city lights and sounds of traffic. I am truly a country woman to the core.


Anonymous said...

Great picture. The backlighting on Charlie makes it.

I understand about the stars- why else would I drive miles to meet my sister and sleep in a tent beside a lake? Or move to a small town to be closer to things that matter? I think, though, that I am a half and half girl -I love the big city too with its multicultural mix, exciting architecture, waterfront hustle and bustle but the pull of tranquility is stronger.
I saw white swans on the lake this weekend, and the ducks and geese are beginning to pair up. I love the spring -in spite of the Northern Flicker that likes to drum on the metal furnace chimney.

Big Sis

Hunde Haus said...

Jean I know what you mean.

I have spent 5 years living rurally, as opposed to most of my adult life spent city dwelling.

I know I will never ever go back to almost being able to touch hands through your neighbors windows. Ugh.

And, wow, the stars!! That is awe inspiring.