Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sirens vs. silence

Every once in a while I wonder how much easier my life would be if I lived in town instead of out here in the sticks. Just think of it: I could have city water and sewer service instead of a cranky well and septic tank, and if I accidentally left something important at my office, I could just zip over there and grab it instead of carefully weighing the time and energy costs of driving 20 miles each way. If I lived in town I would be surrounded by people and cars instead of possums and coons, and if I needed help, I could find some pretty quickly.

I wouldn't have to walk a quarter mile to pick up my mail.

I wouldn't get stuck at home in winter weather. Instead, I would have to go to work. (Score one for living in the sticks!)

If I lived in town I wouldn't find the neighbor's cows wandering through the yard, and I wouldn't have to worry about whether my driveway might be under water after heavy rains because I wouldn't have a creek.

Right: no long walks along the water's edge to fill my ears with the sound of the creek splashing over rocks. No kingfishers swooping above the water's surface, and no great blue herons wading in the shallows where the little fishes live. No golden sunshine reflecting off the surface of the water or shining on the mottled bark of tall sycamore trees.

In town I might have many other things--convenience stores, for instance, and trick-or-treaters at Halloween--but I wouldn't have a creek. I need a creek, and I need a meadow and a piney woods and a butterfly garden and silence. In town I could listen to the sounds of sirens and passing cars, but in the sticks I hear the creek, the birds, the wind, the silence.

All things considered, I think I'll stick with the sticks.

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