(Which is better: city life or country life? Why do people move? How big is Boise, Idaho?)
I’m moving out of the city and going back to live, full-time, on the farm. According to Allied Van Lines moving is not that unusual since in a lifetime most people change homes about 11 times (my mother moved nine times within a five-year period). The majority of moves people make are local, from an apartment to a house in the same city, for example.
But people in my age group, the baby boomers, are the least likely of any demographic to make a big move.
Generally, older adults have finally paid the mortgage off and are unwilling to take on any new debt, especially house loans. And if they do change homes, they want to live closer to town, not further away. They want to be nearer their family, goods and services, and especially medical facilities as they age.
None of those issues mattered to me though, when I decided to move back to the farm. I simply wanted to find more peace and quiet and less rush and riot. I saw Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman, this past summer, and while I was packing boxes for my big move I found myself singing along with Elton’s “Yellow Brick Road”: “So goodbye yellow brick road, where the dogs of society howl, you can’t plant me in your penthouse, I’m going back to my plough…”
The farm does have plows, which means work, so the lifestyle has not always been my panacea. The first twenty years of my married life I plied, if not plowed, our farm. I remember walking field roads dreaming of city streets and city lights. I’d become a hay seed, but I longed to make hay in the big city. I couldn’t shake wonderful memories of being a young college girl in downtown Philadelphia. I loved the beautiful fountain at Logan’s Circle with the sculptured winged gods spouting water. Down the boulevard from Logan’s Circle was the magnificent Philadelphia Art Museum.
I finally got the chance to leave the farm once my children were raised, and after I’d made a career change.
I moved to the biggest city around: Boise, Idaho, population 226,570. It wasn’t the Big Apple but it was a fairly Large Potato. When I made that move a farm girlfriend of mine asked me, “What does the city have that the country doesn’t–besides shopping?”
I thought (but didn’t say): you plebian! A country girl could never understand the excitement, the energy, of so many people working and thinking and creating, in one big, buzzing place. Even Michelangelo said, “I have never found salvation in nature. I love cities above all.”
But I came to discover my plebian friend had a point. Though cultural centers, cities are shopping meccas for most people. In terms of daily living, this is their biggest draw. It took some time, but eventually I found the gridlock and traffic jams a poor trade for the peace allotted to those who live among the wheat fields.
Another friend, Donna, said, “Won’t you be bored living out on the farm again?”
Maybe. But I’m beginning to understand the upside of boredom, how it motivates you to engage with all the little things you missed before, like the litter of kittens out by the barn. Besides, every day’s not meant to be a bell-ringer. If you can’t stand the lethargy of time, you’ll die young—or at least sooner from rushing about so much.
So, it could be I’m moving back to the farm to save my life—or savor it.
Really it doesn’t matter. If I’m honest, it’s how you live, not where you live that matters. Early this morning in the dark, I opened up the back patio door on the Snake River rushing past. When I looked up, a spray of stars twinkled in the sky. I took a big breath, and smelled the freshly cut hay in the field next to our house. Mornings on the farm are the best.
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