What is it About the Country…?


The other night, I found myself engaging in an interesting conversation with Tricia Braid Terry and Stacy Schutz. There was a pretty big thunderstorm rolling in, stretching from central Illinois (where those ladies live) all the way up to the Chicago suburbs (where I’m going to school). Now, if you know anything about Illinois geography, Illinois is one heck of a long state in regards to north-south stretch. That was one huge storm system! (For the record, it’s still circling northern Illinois. Lake-effect wind patterns like to make some systems linger up here.)

We were talking about how we were excited about the storm. Sure, there are downs to it. It puts a halt on planting plans, and increases the risk of low germination rates and the need for replant. But there’s something about a good thunderstorm that most country folks can appreciate. Maybe it was the fact that I grew up with a clear view to the west. Watching those spring and summer storms roll in from the west is something I did a lot as a kid. There’s something powerful, awe-inspiring, and impressive about the weather. I’ve talked about rain here a lot, but not thunder and lightning. Those storms, the ones you can hear pounding in the distance long before it hits you, is something only rural people can really appreciate.
I mean, my suburban/urban friends here hear the storm rolling in and think about things like their cars getting dirty (since city rain leaves a film, rather than cleans the car) and the fact that they’ll have to walk in the rain. (Granted, I hate walking through cold rain. I have no problem with warm summer rain, though!)
When I think city rain, I think bad smells and a nasty outlook. When I think country rain, I think the fresh smell of wet soil, wet plants, and a good light show.
What else is there about the country that I love? I summed it up in my 3 S’s statement last night on Twitter:
@kmrivard: @StacySchutz @agchick 3 S’s I miss most from home: Storms, sunsets, and stars. They just aren’t the same in the burbs.
(@StacySchutz is obviously Stacy Schutz. @agchick is Tricia Braid Terry.)
It’s true. There are things about nature that I get to appreciate, that many city slickers don’t get to. A slow summer evening watching a red and gold midwestern sunset? Sounds fabulous. And there is something special about sitting next to a bonfire with a ceiling of endless, brilliant stars overhead. The clear night sky as seen from my back yard is one of my favorite views.
I guess to sum this up, I’m lucky. I get to lead a charmed life full of natural wonder and peaceful moments. Next time you see storm clouds sitting on the western horizon, or you settle on your back porch to enjoy the most beautiful sunset the world has ever offered, or you look up at a sky full of diamond-like stars, think of the poor city folks.
They don’t get to see the world like we do. Happy country living, folks. I’m in my final countdown until summer, when these sights, sounds, and smells will be my daily reality again for three months.
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