Believe it or not, I haven’t always found the country beautiful.
The wide open spaces of this place used to make me feel twinges of agoraphobia (the opposite of claustrophobic). I feared the wide open spaces.
I still remember my first few drives out to Smalltown to visit the Dairy Man when we were dating. I would feel twinges of panic as sidewalks and Starbucks were replaced by cornfields and endless country roads. The openness crushed me. I felt unmoored and lost. While DM marveled at a beautiful starry sky, I couldn’t stop looking around for streetlights.
It was like being on an alien planet a million miles from earth. But instead of extraterrestrial life, I was surrounded by cows and F-150s.
I desperately missed the city. I felt most at home when surrounded by tall buildings, a crush of humanity, and the perpetual cacophony of traffic. I preferred my experiences with nature to be within walking distance of a tapas restaurant or the John Hancock Center.
I’m still getting used to life out in the boonies. The difference three years makes, however, is that I’m starting to see the beauty.
We had a brief thunderstorm this week. After the noise (including the incessant whining of one very high-strung border collie) died down and the rain puttered out, I took a look out our front window and my breath caught in my throat.
Let’s face it, people. Skies like this don’t happen very often between apartment buildings.
I finally appreciate the beauty of this rural wilderness. Here, I can be quiet, deliberate, and still. With skies this big, it’s impossible not to feel closer to heaven.
I miss the bustle of the urban jungle, but this country is home.