It happens every time my daughters go visit their cousins. The whole car ride home is one long sigh and explanation of why we don’t live in the country.
This time, after we helped bring supper out to the field with my mom, Belén gave me the ultimatum:
“By my ninth birthday we have to be living in the country, or else…”
“That would be great,” I reply, and I really mean it. Instead of listing off reasons like jobs and land prices I think back to what I loved about being a country kid. In fact, I always assumed my children would do the same things I did: raft down ditches in springtime, build forts a 1/4 mile away from home, clear snow off the pond to make a rink (or was that you, Todd?), bike for miles without encountering another soul…
But the reality is we live in a 60’x100′ lot, four blocks away from a McDonald’s. Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we imagined it would.
At some point during these lament-why-we-don’t-live-in-the-country car rides I usually like to ask my girls, and myself, “What is it that you like about where we live right now?” Living biking distance from the library and friends’ houses are always at the top of our list. I also think there is value in trying to live sustainably in an urban setting, since most people in the world will never be able to own huge swaths of land.
This is not to say we don’t brainstorm about ideas on how might get our own piece of rural property and join our generation of back-to-the-landers. But to be honest, those conversations always end up with me questioning how we are going to shod our children’s feet, envisioning buck-skin wardrobes and a lot of stress in general.
So here we are, with a street address and neighbours we can wave to while sitting at our dining room table. Perhaps we will fulfill Belén’s wishes and be somewhere else by this time next year. I’m kind of doubtful though. In the mean time I hope to keep adding to our list of what we like about here; the place we’re at right now.
PS: How many of you will be two stepping in your kitchen after you read this post, humming the song in the title?
PPS: Did you know that Latin name for Goldenrod is Solidago and it means “to make whole”. More on that later.