While on a brief trip to the country last week, I really enjoyed several things that I had forgotten about.
I forgot about how quiet the country is, especially at night. I sat on the porch with my wife several times and just listened to the crickets and the locusts and the God-knows-what conduct their nightly serenade. It's always a very relaxing time. Nature knows how to sing us to sleep each night and help us to forget about how hard life can be. I miss that.
I live in the suburbs, but I still don't get the complete silence at night. I hear the constant buzz of traffic and electric lights and transformers and people upstairs watching porn, you know, all the stuff the suburbs has to offer.
I also forgot about how many stars you can see in the country. Once you get away from the light pollution of the big city, the sky really opens up with all its beauty.Okay, honestly, I never got out to see the stars because I was in bed early most nights – the country will really take it out of you — but still.
I enjoy the sunsets around my house and on some clear, crisp nights, you might even be able to make out the faint shadow of the Milky Way. But mostly in the city, you see inky blackness with the faint echo shine of the lights on the ground.
In high school, I remember looking up and seeing the stars and I probably took them for granted. I guess I shouldn't have done that. If scientists who study stars and space and Uranus had grown up in the city where they didn't see any stars, we may have never known anything about anything outside our earthly home. We wouldn't care. I'm glad we have scientist and the country and stars and the Milky Way, especially the candy bar.
I forgot about the absence of stuff. I can drive up the road from my house and I see stuff for miles around. I see strip malls, and retail shops and fast food and lights and billboards and just a bunch of junk. It all runs together so much that I probably don't even notice most of it any more. I still drive by things every day and see something new because I couldn't see it before either because I wasn't paying attention or because of all the clutter.
The country is conveniently free of strip malls and billboards and bright lights and clutter. You see the ubiquitous fence, the occasional cattle guard, the evergreens, the scrub brush and cows, lots of cows. That is all. Cows don't need strip malls. Cowboys don't need strip malls. Heck, most of us could probably get away with a few less nail salons and donut shops that seem to frequent every new strip mall.
I miss those things about the country.
But I'm not about to give up my Starbucks or my neighbor's porn collection. So I guess I'll just stay in the suburbs.