I'm in town at my aunt's house watching her dog for her while she's away. Not the most glamorous job...but it works. This is the town where my family used to live. A few years ago we moved way out into the country, to a pretty little place with rolling hills and dirt roads. We don't know very many people there, but we like it just the same. We have twenty-five acres that we can use as we please.
Our extended family always wonders why we would want to move so far away from everything and everyone that we have ever known. They just don't understand. Sometimes you get tired of living in a busy city, cramped in with people all around you. Sometimes you get tired of all of the hustle and bustle, people crabby and work-worn, too impatient to wait for people who want to stop and smell the roses.
The country gives you room to breathe; room to think. There's nothing quite like the great expanse of sky over our farm at night. I like to go out with my sister after dark when's she feeding the animals, and just stand there with my head tilted back, looking up in awe at the night sky. I've never in my life seen anything more beautiful.
In the city it's hard to imagine that so much outdoors exists. You can only see one small patch of sky in the horizon; you can only see a few stars shining down on you, their brilliancy dimmed to a weak glow from all of the city lights.
It took me several years to get used to how dark it was in the country when the sun went down. That sounds like a funny statement, because night is night, right? But there really is a difference. You don't know how dependent you've become on something until it's taken away. That's how it was with me and the city lights. At our new home, without any towns or houses being very near, when it gets dark, it's pitch black. At first, the darkness almost frightened me. But once I got used to it, it seemed like that's how it really should have been all along. The darkness envelopes you and the stars fill the sky with their brilliancy.
Sure, it's nice to come back to town every once in awhile, to see all of the familiar people and places, but at the end of my stay, I'm always glad to go home again.
They can keep their city lights!