Tuesday, July 20, 2010
A Very Big House in the Country
I was lucky enough to go back for my friend Jen's family reunion and to say they were a welcoming family is an understatement. I don't know if it is people in the country or just the Colenutts, but family meant something to them and they had hundreds of stories about the things they got up to when they were youngsters. Everyone got along really well and people were camping on the 3acres (yes acres) of land that surrounded Jen's house. The biggest difference between the country and the city is the buildings, here in Toronto it is almost impossible to see the horizon unless you go up a very tall building but in the country you can see to the end of the world just standing on your feet. Plus there are lots of fields, like lots of them everywhere you look, if you imagined the amount of starbux that litter the streets of TO and trade them in for fields that doesn't even half the number of them scattered around the countryside. It seems like a silly observation to make seeing as the country wouldn't be the country if it was full of buildings, but there is something strange about not having neighbours or having to drive to next door that spooked me when I was out there.
The main advantage of fields and no street lights are fireflies and stars. Fire flies are my new favorite thing in the whole world, they are truly magical. Tiny specks of gold light up the fields and then disappear before your eyes, swirls of golden light are just everywhere you look. They kind of mimic the stars out in the country, the sky is just full of them, having no smog to contend with. You look out to gold dust and up to star dust, night time in the country parallels no other. It's dead silent too, so when we went to have a bonfire all you could hear was the crackling of burning wood and bull frogs croaking, it was a very peaceful experience.
They also drink like fish in the country, well maybe it was just us city folk letting go, but I woke up to a Jello shot on Saturday and didn't stop drinking until well into the next day. This I use as my excuse for accompanying Jen over to where the family were camping and scratching on the tents to scare everyone, I promise it wasn't me it was the alcohol.
So I guess it's 'Country 1- 0 City' although it was nice when we arrived home. The city may not have fireflies and be filled with smog but it is also filled with noise and activity and hums with excitement. There is a calm that comes with knowing the city is always awake, always alive and kicking. It reconects you with the world and makes you realize people everywhere are always doing something. The country promotes calm through actual calm and quiet but the city does it by making you believe anything is possible and that progress is natural. I wouldn't say the country is backwards, but it does promote tradition and familiarity which the city only dables in, if the city is where the future is made then the country is a reminder of where we came from.
I think I have come to the conclusion that you need a little of both, if you remember where we were when we were self sufficient, when we used to grow our own food and live in these communities who cared about each other, then there is so much we can learn. In many ways within that idea lies a smarter and greener future but I don't think this gives people the right to slag off the city. The city has a lot going for it too, it's multi cultural and diverse and has found a way to make sure that anyone from any background can have the future they want, provided they are prepared to work for it. Plus the city at night may not light up from the stars, but the buildings and the street lights create a glow of their own, one that could challenge Van Goughs stary night even if it doesn't promote the same idea.
Ok I'll put a lid on it, a quick thankyou to all the Colenutts for having me this weekend and to Ira for driving me there with out crashing. I had a great trip
Hugs and Kisses