Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why choose a rural life?

Why garden? Why farm? Why create a life for yourself that is full of work?

It isn’t for everyone. God, I know that one. Heck, there are many times that I recall having to cancel my plans to get hay up and off the field or get up early after a night on the town that I wondered my about sanity and if this lifestyle was for me! I am a pretty intelligent girl. I have the kind of resume that could get me a job in the city with all the posh accoutrements I could desire. So why limit myself? Why restrain myself to one geographic area when the world is at my fingertips? Why choose a life of non-stop work over a life of relatively easy reward?

Love. I love the farm. I love the land. I love the animals. The joy I get from watching a bud pop up out of the ground, a kitten’s first faltering footsteps as he begins venturing out under their mama’s watchful eye, or a newborn calf romp and play in the sun is unparalleled by anything else I have witnessed. A walk in the woods after a spring rain puts all of the art in the Louvre to shame. There is something special about that brilliant sunlight scintillating off of deep green moss that pops off the water stained wood. Everything is in stark golden contrast and the colors are so vivid that they sing to your soul. Oil paint can’t capture it, and digital cameras don’t even come close. It grounds me in ways that are more than just the mud covering my boots. It connects me to my world in a way that I have not been able to experience in any concrete haven. Every day is a reminder that there is joy to be found in life; and life is meant to be enjoyed, experienced, lived.

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher that chose to live in a barrel in the equivalent of a city park. In essence he believed that the gods had given man a simple life, but man complicated it by itching for luxuries. I certainly don’t want to give up my home, but I believe that Diogenes had it a little bit right. People are notorious for distracting themselves with the pursuit of luxuries, rather than enjoying the bounty that they have been given. I saw a sign once that said, “Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” I take that to heart.

Farming, gardening, living. They are synonymous in my personal dictionary. By choosing a rural lifestyle I am choosing to live a life of appreciation rather than a life of yearning, a life of action rather than distraction, a life of hard work and peaceful reward.

And for me, that makes the work worth it.

(Please remind me of that the next time it is freezing rain and I am sick, and still have to get up and feed the cows! ;) )

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