|The view I had last week|
Call me a countryside convert. Today, I can honestly say that I enjoy the countryside. Not so some years ago, as I mentioned in a previous post. As I sit here in our loft and hear the swaying of the trees outside, let me share with you some of the joys I’ve discovered living in this rural setting.
1. Nature and the Outdoors
With hardly any high-rises or concrete jungles to speak of, nature’s glory is displayed without obstruction. I can enjoy the view of the vast sky and see the mountain range on the horizon. With the beach just 15 minutes away from our house, I can enjoy the sight of the breathtaking sea, wave upon wave slapping its might against the cream shoreline. The green fields are also a refreshing sight, and the abundance of trees this side of town are a treasure. And the sunsets! The sky turns from blue to orange to pink…I never tire of seeing this often as I have my outdoor walks. My heart can only well up in praise of its Designer.
There is also the amusing side of being in these natural surroundings. One morning, as I opened our front door to leave the house, whaddaya know, a couple of cows were staring at me from the “next-door” field. Another time, I heard the neighing of a horse. Horses are a typical sight around our home, but this one turned out to be closer to our backyard wall than usual. And still another time, I walked past our dining room and saw a basket near our home office. I wondered whose it was and what was in it. As I moved closer and inspected the mysterious package, my heart skipped a beat while a live chicken greeted me! (Turns out my father-in-law, who was in town, ordered the critter for someone’s dinner — not ours, though! And I have no idea where Chickee’s demise took place.)
2. Space That's Not Cramped = Less Pollution
It’s spacious over here in the countryside where I live. (Well, the centro or main part of the provincial city is a little cramped, but that’s just a portion.) There’s also less pollution in the air and no mounds of trash lining the streets. There is close-to-zero traffic jams (unless there is some procession going on). And it hardly floods the way it does in the city I go back to every so often.
3. Peace and Quiet
When I first relocated to the countryside, I found it too quiet...I mean, 8 pm and it seemed everyone was already sleeping! (Thanks to the opening of the lone mall some years ago and some new eating places and department stores, there is some night buzz already.) But now I so appreciate the silence that helps me reflect on God’s goodness and helps to give me peace.
Living in the countryside has made me realize that life can be simpler and can be enjoyed without having to have certain things. I used to be such a mall person, so imagine my panic (OK, that’s too strong a word) when I found out there was no mall in the vicinity at the time I relocated. Like what in the world would I do come Sunday when I was used to hanging out in the mall on that day? (Hello…I learned to stay at home and enjoy it…or…go to the beach!)
Or when we relocated, we didn’t have the luxury of TV-watching. Yes, we had this black block of a TV set, but we couldn’t even access the free TV for some reason, and cable TV was not in our budget. So we’d just borrow movies…but the better thing was using our free time to exercise outdoors!
Another thing is that to this day, there is no Starbucks over here. I am such a coffee and coffee place person, so knowing there wouldn’t be any of those when I relocated got me into withdrawal of the mild kind. But the good news was they sold ground coffee in the palengke (wet market) and so I could enjoy brewed coffee at home (thanks to those who gave us coffee makers during our wedding!).
There you go, a list of my countryside joys. This living in the countryside bit has done so much good for my soul, actually. I would have never realized it before, but now I see God’s wisdom in it. It had to take some serious uprooting to help transform my character, among other things. I’m only grateful.