Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Dreams Have Been Country Infected

All pictures taken by me, Queen Charlotte Islands B.C.

The last couple days have been incredibly hot. I've locked myself away in my lightly air conditioned house (I say lightly as we don't turn it up very much, just enough to take the edge off the heat) with all the blinds shut. I haven't gazed out the window in a while, just doing my part to keep the house as cool as possible.

I honestly can't complain, as I much prefer this over the cold, but the staying indoors thing is getting to me a little. I got out the easel and a canvas to begin my next painting, only to discover I'm running really low on paint, so I need to get myself out to the art supply store. After working on a few little projects around the house, I got to just sitting with a glass of lemon water, and thinking.

My personal dilemma right now is the city vs. country question. I have only ever lived in the city, and have only ventured out to the country for vacations and weekends away. I work in the city, my friends are in the city, I'm pretty tied down here. But more and more, I'm craving the countryside full time. The thought of waking up with the birds and sitting in the breeze, surrounded by tall trees, and a lake if I'm lucky, brings shivers to my spine. It feels like a completely unattainable dream, not unlike winning the lottery.

I would be happy if I could rise in the morning, and place my feet down on a cool, rugged wood plank floor. Hear the morning birds singing, and that unmistakable creak of tall cedars and chirping red squirrels. Make a pot of pressed coffee and wander out to my yard and be alone at the water's edge. Watch the water striders skip along the surface, engulfed in the morning's mist. Take a swim as the sun rises.

As the day plods on, I'll tend to the garden which is my means of self sufficiency, with my dogs and cats lounging near by. I would spend the afternoon on a shaded swing, that type of swing that people normally have on their porches, and write the day away, working on my novel.

I would take walks down the country roads surrounding my property, and visit the neighbours on their organic farms. Watch the sun set on my walk back home, lowering in the bright orange sky, and have a piece of cake!

Sometimes, actually, all the time, I think this is a complete pipe dream. How does one do this? Leave everything behind (except for your loved one of course) and go off-grid, so to speak? I never think this dream through to winter, as that's another matter entirely, but I can't break this spell. I go through this every summer after the first time being at a lake or a cottage or a campsite, it pains me to drive back into the city, though it is my home, and I do love my home.

Its just that there is a better way of life, I'd love to say that I'm not the city which made me, but I'm afraid I can't. I am such a dreaded product of city life that I don't know how to break free. It's very scary. Can I do it? Is it possible to quit everything, sell everything and begin anew? I fear I'll be stuck just dreaming this dream, and not making beautiful music under a clear, open sky.

I wrote a short story a few years back about this very thing, these very questions. It's sitting on my website which is just waiting to be launched. Clearly these thoughts have been inside me for a long time, but can thoughts become more then just thoughts? I know the answer to these questions, trust me, I do, but taking a leap is hard when you don't know where you will land...

All photos by me

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