When you drive from Colorado to Wisconsin--passing through Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota along the way--you see a lot of farms. A lot of nothingness. A lot of land. And silos and cattle and fields and sweet little farm houses.
Which I actually find kind of exciting. Because I don't normally see these things when I'm hauling my kids around. Farmland is not part of our daily landscape and we Heldts are anything but off the grid--we live in a city, our modest home being less than five minutes from Safeway, Walgreens, the original Chipotle, and a slew of other business establishments. While our neighborhood is not particularly urban in style, it's not suburban either, and there are definitely no traces of rural living in sight.
And I really kind of love the city.
But every time I'm away from it, every time I find myself entering another world where people live differently than me, I am positively captivated by the bright red barns and grazing horses and fields of crops. I have no desire to work the land per se (I have never successfully kept a plant alive in all my life, and oh my goodness farmers work hard!), but I do love the idea of owning land--where my kids could spill out our front door and explore and climb trees from dawn till dusk. Where I could maybe even achieve my lifelong dream of owning a horse or two. Where life is, well, kind of simple.
They say the grass is always greener, and maybe if I lived in Nowhere, Nebraska I'd be longing for a McMansion in Omaha. There are pros and cons to just about every living situation and I'm no fool--rural life has the potential to be less convenient, with fewer late-night ice cream runs. Life is full of trade-offs. I know this.
But I also know I'm not completely alone in my ponderings. City versus country living has actually been a topic of great discussion among Christians for centuries. Which I find kind of fascinating, this idea that where you live--and put down roots--has the potential to encompass philosophical and theological concepts and, as a result, implications. I certainly don't think one is automatically superior to the other, but I do think there's something to it all.
As much as I love the idea of having a few acres, who knows if we'll ever actually leave the city for a more rural lifestyle? My husband thinks I'm slightly ridiculous and I think he just hasn't caught the vision yet. I secretly kind of like moving (not the lifting of heavy furniture, but experiencing new places), and he does not. I'm addicted to looking at houses online ("Oh look at this one! A 7-acre horse property with an arena!!!!"), and he
So I have a feeling that we'll be remaining within the Denver city limits for some time.
But don't think I won't be reading the biographies of Laura Ingalls Wilder, or ordering books with titles like Apostolic Farming, all the while scheming about how I'm going to convince Kevin to buy us that 7-acre horse property. Because we TOtally need an arena, and a place to park an RV.
Meanwhile Kevin will be running to the grocery store for something I forgot to buy, and stopping by Chipotle to satisfy my sudden craving for a vegetarian burrito.
He wouldn't be able to do that if we lived rurally, see.
But I'd have a cute red barn and the ability to pretend that I'm a farmer. Which is all kinds of cool.
So what about you--does anyone else have more than an itty-bitty crush on rural living?
Or am I the only person who actually gets excited driving through Iowa? :)