Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Town and Country

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!)

11 comments:

margalit said...

I think I live in a very unique place. We're almost exactly 6 miles from the very heart of Boston's government center. We live in a streetcar suburb with a subway, busses, and commuter trains. But we also have a large plot of land with a barn, and we're very close to rural areas with horses and small farm animals. Urban, suburban and rural all wrapped up into one!

Here from Michele

Mike said...

Sounds like you live in the best of both worlds.

Here from Michele

kenju said...

Where I live is 3 miles north of the city limits. When we moved here 25 years ago, it was an area of only houses and housing developments,interspersed with acres of land, with no commercial buildings within 5 miles. That has all changed and I hate to see the area becoming mixed. You are lucky to live where you do!!

Michele sent me.

twitches said...

Your location sounds ideal - we're all city where I live. I'd love to have both worlds in one place.

Tammy said...

Sounds like a wonderful place in the center of it all. :)

hanulf said...

Definitely best of both worlds - and I agree with your thoughts on wilderness... "places that we can go only as guests" - we need to conserve what little is left!

Michele says hi!

Shelby said...

great post!

shelby

shelbydupree.blogspot.com

Patois said...

I like how you pointed out that both really are man's creations. And your location sounds ideal.

Carole said...

Very thought provoking. I like the idea of town and country being different aspects of the same thing. You seem to have the ideal situation.

Crafty Green Poet said...

The view from your window looks like Scotland! Good point you make about city / country /wilderness.

Molly said...

This is my first time here--I really like your words in your "About Me" area! Nice post!