The Simple Life

This morning as I woke up and stared out of the window a great feeling of peace washed over me. It’s a feeling I notice that I only get when I am close to nature, when I am in a different environment other than my own. To walk outside of my comfort zone and into uncharted territory is one of the most exciting yet peaceful things to experience. To look outside and see nothing but the green fields and trees changing their colors is a big change of scenery for a person who usually wakes up staring at other buildings and pavement. Not to mention the sounds; in the country, nothing but the crisp breeze of the morning rustling through the trees and the birds; blue birds, woodpeckers and so many others that will go unnamed, because that’s as far as my knowledge takes me. In the city, I would have been awakened about five or six times by cars, delivery trucks, sirens and drunks. Nothing wrong with that, however.  It’s the life I chose to live. But for me, to be in the country is to be able to unwind, and it is the best feeling in the world.

Usually with a lot in my head, I find myself taking the time to stare at the squirrels playing in the trees, the rabbits hopping from one side to the other of the lawn, which turns into 40 acres of land covered by trees, creeks and peace of mind. Here, and pretty much anywhere else I go that is similar to this, I am driven to reflect upon life and the choices I made (and am yet to make) and look at what a life in the country would be like. I am a man of the city – always have been – born and raised.  Life in the country is a foreign concept to me. What do you do out here all day? What do you do here all year?

In this village where I am staying there is only a restaurant, a pub and a post office. That’s it.   The church is thirty minutes away, in the other village. If you don’t know your way around here, your GPS navigation system will definitely not be of much help and, instead of the church, you will probably end up in Michelle’s Hair Parlor – which is, around here, just as sacred.

Being in the country is like adjusting the focus in a camera:  everything is blurry and then all of a sudden things begin to clear up. All those ideas and projects that didn’t seem possible, or perhaps terribly difficult, are now only a couple of tasks away from completion.  Nothing seems impossible out here, because the most unattainable idea right now would be to spend an entire year in the country.
I drive around making up stories for every house I see:  the one with the dog and the nicer car is probably the family that only comes here on the weekends to visit.  The one with the barn and the hay probably has the family that never left, as so many around here do. I try to imagine  what they think about, what kind of shops they go to, what would be a night out in the “town”?  Do they date? Who do they date?  I mean, the population is minus fifteen. I wonder if they are entertained by all the visitors who come and go? Or,  perhaps they are deeply bothered and would much rather be left alone? I wonder if they lock their doors or if a neighbor just stops by for a visit. In the city, showing up unannounced is as close as you can get to a crime.  And yet, I would love nothing more than for someone to show up unannounced.  It would make me feel more like a small town, apple pie kind of guy, if you know what I mean.

But this is not my life. This is part of my life.  This is part of the comings and goings that my life has become, and the thrills that are brought from exploring new places and possibilities. As much as I would love to join the simple life of the country, I don’t think I would ever be able to let go of my life in the city, because that is when I am truly in my element.

Everything in life has a purpose, and we all have our tuning methods. For me, tuning is going back to the peace an quiet of the country or the beach; for others, it’s therapy; and for some, it’s shopping; go figure. I know people who have never been to the country and aren’t curious at all about it. For me, it’s a fascinating and mind expanding experience that i cannot live without. For me, to be in the country is to be with myself.

Author: Gabriel Ruas Santos Rocha

writes for passion, eats for pleasure, travels for wonder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s