Anyone who reads my blog regularly will have a fair idea of where I live by now. Do I live in the town or the country? Well, here is the view from the back upstairs window of my house:
Those hills are only about ten to fifteen minutes walk away, if I want to walk in the countryside. On any weekend, there are probably as many people walking, jogging or mountain biking on the hills, surrounded by sheep, cicadas and magpies, as there are on a city pavement.
In the other direction, on the north side of the house, it is about half an hour's walk to the edge of the city centre, where there are libraries, cafes, museums and art galleries. I'm a city girl at heart. But it has to be a small scale city, one like this in which the countryside seeps in and around and through the city, with green spaces everywhere. This way, I have the best of both worlds. I can be in touch with the natural world without the hard work.
On musing over the phrase "town and country", I realised that they are not two different things. They are both two aspects of one thing - places in which man has tamed the landscape. In the city, it is mostly a built landscape. In the countryside, it is a tilled and cultivated landscape. I think "country" and I see fields, fences, crops, domestic animals. To me, there is "town and country" and then there is wilderness. Those special places that we can go only as guests. Tangled forests, rugged mountains, unmodified grasslands such as savannahs, tundra and prairie, and the great frozen stretches at the North and South Poles. These places are shrinking, but they are precious, and we need to cherish them, even though we don't feel at ease there.
More musings on "town and country" at Sunday Scribblings
(This is my 300th post. I'm amazed!)