Country Life Living in the Country is Country Living an Option where is Wildness Left

By far the greatest advantage of living in the country is that it is more natural.

Our species evolved not in crowded, concrete, polluted clusters.  That is something we made in the name of “improving” life. We chose to help nature find what real development and progress meant!

There is much to be said for an urban life. If everything is in walking distance and the town is small enough that connections are made and solidified, it can be great. But usually in urban settings people are more isolated, more alienated, as the ironic consequence of being so near one another is compounded.

In the country, unless you are next to a heavily toxic factory farm, or heavily pesticide sprayed agricultural area, the air is generally cleaner, clearer, and more pleasant to inhale. Our ancestors, for the most part, lived in the country, grew to know the plants, seasons, skies, moods, and interactions of many living organisms, weather, and rhythms.

Before the advent of the industrial revolution, most people did not venture beyond 100 miles of where they were born. This does not mean things were always better then. But the connections people made, the proximity to stable family and community, were stronger. People helped one another with farming, learning trades, and craftsmanship, and for the most part there were only two classes of people the very, very rare, rich, and powerful, and everybody else.

The middle class arose as a result of invention, innovation in travel and trade, and once born, the middle class cannot be stuffed back into either a sooty chimney lamp, or a stately manor among a thousand acre forest. Middle class living brought us the suburbs. And the suburbs, do offer at least a taste of the country.  If you cannot afford the country estate, or the city high-rise, the suburbs is sometimes an acceptable compromise.

In modern times suburban and rural living are somewhat blurred together. As more and more people displace more and more land, wild places are disappearing.  Plentiful animals, plants, woodlands, and meadows are swallowed up slowly, but steadily by suburbs.  Even urban sprawl slowly creeps in and edges all other life out.

In the large open spaces such as Wyoming and Alaska, Siberia, and parts of China, even the widest expanse of country side is feeling the stomp of a burgeoning footprint of humanity.  Jets overhead, long traveled pollution, and human garbage seep into air, water, food, and more.

Living in the country is romanticized, but it should be emphasized that although you may still find a place where community is cozy, and air is clean, many long time residents may resent your arrival.  Think of places where people loved the forests and wide expansive views, but newcomers arrived and immediately started cutting down the scenery to “own” those views.

Education and arts opportunities can be either enhanced, you may learn about folk dancing, and/or cultural festivals unique to that location, but they may also be limited in many ways as well.

Country living is about connection.  It is not about status, glamour, fame or sophistication. This does not mean it’s a redneck backwater. Thoreau was not the first, nor the last, quite literate person that went to the woods to live deliberately.

If you choose to move to the country be aware that you are joining, not alienating yourself, from a whole new community of life. If you are fortunate a large part of that community may be wildlife, birds, trees, rivers, meadows, and more. Realize you are there to appreciate them, not to despoil them.