Sunday, May 20, 2012

Field Party

No invitations are required to join this informal field party.  Pull up a rock or sink into the lush grass and enjoy the beauty of the day.

I grew up in the country, but a career in information technology pulled me to the city.  Now, over forty years later, I’m returning to a more rural environment.  I’ve started reflecting on the changes that will bring and weighing the merits of the two lifestyles.

Cities have a wider selection of products and services.  Whether you are seeking extra-wide shoes, Vietnamese cuisine or ukulele lessons, your odds are far better in the city.  No need to drive a hundred miles to shop at a mall, peruse your favorite specialty shops or enjoy an afternoon in a mega-bookstore.

Cities offer more culture and entertainment.  Symphony orchestras, art galleries and museums will be missed.  So will the wide variety of theaters and the proximity of an IMAX.  I have been an avid moviegoer for most of my life.  When I lived alone, movie theaters were an almost daily pleasure.  Not to mention the cinema-grills (aka fork and screens or cinema-suites), where you could eat dinner while watching a movie.  From radio stations to live performances, there is a wider selection of music.  I love live jazz.  Nothing beats a crowded lounge, where you can interact with local musicians, who are performing just a few feet away.  Whatever your musical taste, you have a better chance of enjoying it in the city.

So why move to the country?  Let’s start with the air.  Before I moved to the city, I hadn’t even heard of air quality alerts.  Now a bad air quality day can leave me short of oxygen, even when I stay indoors.  I won’t be missing the traffic either.  Country dwellers don’t need to worry about traffic jams or interstate pileups.  For sheer beauty, the country wins every time.  You don’t have to fight traffic or pay an entrance fee to enjoy it.  Just lean back in that front porch rocker and enjoy a bird-symphony.  Or share the shade of a tree with some bovine friends.

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