Ponder this:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ah, the sweet air of Freedom

I am feeling Not Inspired.
Not wordy.
But I have these thoughts today.

After having spent some years in suburbia, where:
  • if I went out to lie down on my grass at dusk my neighbor watched me as she cleaned her kitchen sink, wondering why a person would do that;
  • all the women felt bound to leave the house only when the hair and makeup and accessories were perfectly placed;
  • nobody danced down the aisles of the grocery store on a Saturday morning, even if it was good ol' 1970s dancing tunes;
  • a person would be hard-pressed to find hair on any head over the age of thirty that was the color that nature, time and God gave them;
  • one walked in one's yard only on pathways that were perfectly edged and bordered by impatiens or hosta;
  • the old tires alongside somebody's garage were a constant visible source of worry to the neighbors;
  • outdoor gatherings required tents and powder-coated lawn furniture instead of canvas seating that guests unfolded from their cars...

I am, every moment of every day, glad I live where:
  • people drive, unashamed, trucks that have the rubber stripping hanging loose from the wheelwells, flapping in the breeze as they roll down the road;
  • vehicles wear the dirt they pick up on the country roads until a heavy rain washes them clean;
  • women go to the store, to work, to wherever they want to without makeup, unaccessorized, without, if they choose, some articles of uncomfortable underclothing;
  • I can swing up on the Kubota early on a Saturday morning and mow the lawn before I shower and get dressed;
  • dogs and cats can go out the door and move around their environment at will;
  • I can look at the horizon at almost any point during my daily life and see trees and sky and no buildings;
  • I don't hear traffic noise or jake brakes or car alarms or boomboxes or neighbors' children or anything but the sounds of me and mine;
  • people have real conversations with strangers as they pass in the supermarket or sit in waiting rooms;
  • I can wear to work the same sneakers I wore (with my nightgown) to mow the lawn;
  • people like what they like and allow others to like what they like and don't worry about how the other guy keeps his house or his vehicle or his yard.
To the Happy Suburbanites out there, it must sound like Hell.
For me, this is Heaven on Earth.


Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Heaven, for sure. Beautifully described!

Pauline said...

but - do you dance to 70s tunes in the supermarket aisles? ;)

This was a delightful post. I identify with the second list better than the first.

Friko said...

Yes, the second list is all true for me too.

I love it too, until I feel the need to get out of the wellies (rubber boots), the barbour jacket (waxed and very shabby), get tired of the boring gossip, the endless charitable coffee mornings, the equally charitable committees deciding how the village should be run and for whose benefit; until the deadly peace and quiet, the permanent green everywhere I look, meeting the same people whose chat I have heard a million times before, drive me back to my isolated little world of computer and household, my solitary dog walks and the confines of my own thoughts and those of my dear and equally solitary companion.

Sometimes, I would give anything to be in a city where nobody cares who or what I am, where the theatre and concert hall are a walk or bus ride away, where the specialist shops that cater for my exotic (i.e. continental) tastes are within easy reach, where an exhibition does not take an overnight trip and where the car is, mostly, superfluous.

And after a few days of this desirable world I am back hankering after the piece and quiet of my rural idyll.

Go figure, as you Americans say.

You dare dance down the supermarket aisle here in the UK; you'd be arrested on the spot for showing undue enthusiasm in a public place.

morningbrayfarm said...

Amen, sister. I do dance (to Don's utter dismay) to songs I like as I'm sashaying down the aisles at the grocery store.

And just the other day while I was there (at the grocery), I heard one gentleman ask another how his hay was doing and had he mowed it yet. Now that's a real conversation.

I absolutely, positively love your blog and the things it makes me think about, June.

Barb said...

But - I'm getting this picture of you dancing down the isles of the supermarket. Does it happen, June? I think I'm going to try it for myself. I'll report back to you. You've inspired me!

June said...

For those who asked, yes, I do dance down the aisles.
And sing.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I live in a place just like yours and I love it too. I have lived and worked in cities where all was polish and surface and had a good time too, but just now I am glad to be up a hill, even though it has been a long time since my hair was the colour God made it, in fact I am not even sure what colour that is.

Peace Thyme said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. And so true. Life is beautiful on my mountain. Lots and lots of hard work and uncertainty, but I yearn for nothing more and will take nothing less....and for me, less is down the slope....where I used to live and paint my nails and wear underwear and work at a stressful job, etc. I thought life was grand then. NOT!

Peri said...

I agree with much of your post. I have lived successfully in suburbia and the country and in the city...I have always been me and done things my way, because that is what I believe in doing. But I believe in standards for behavior for children and adults and I believe in keeping people and vehicles and yards and homes clean because they are easier to deal with that way and don't appear to be uncared about or discarded. I think some people have indeed gone too far to the neatnik side, but most of them are likely ashamed of their appearance or are trying to appear to have more than they have. Some people are rarely satisfied it seems. Yet, aisle dancing and lying in the grass are better for you than makeup and appropriate attire for leaving the house.
Dance on!

broken biro said...

I know what you mean! But I get around living in a town by pretending I don't, so I sing in the supermarket, go out in my sneakers and no make up and don't colour my grey hair anyway. And I put my pee on the compost heap (which wasn't on your list!)
The neighbours think I'm a witch ;-)

Hilary said...

My body lives in suburbia but my heart lives in the country. My legs however, will indeed dance when the music strikes me.. grocery store, shopping mall, park or elsewhere. You just don't want to hear me sing..

June said...

Brokenbiro...hadn't thought of that addition to the compost pile. Husband marks around the garden; that's supposed to keep vermin from eating our veggies. He'll love the composting idea!

Eliza said...

Your second list sounds like heaven. I have the dirty car, untidy garden, and I rarely wear makeup.

Pudge450 said...

How ironic I just found your blog. Just about an hour ago, I told my daughter how liberated I feel. After 60 years of putting on makeup every day..(well since I was bout 15 yrs old... so for 45 years) I have started going out in public makeup-less. I love it. I may let my hair go natural, which would be essentially white. I gave up real clothes a long time ago. I love tee shirts and yoga pants with sneakers. 60 years is long enough. Your blog makes me smile.

f said...

Oh how I agree with you. Your post is like a breath of fresh air.