During the summers between middle school I worked on a ranch 30 minutes down the road from a town of 20 people. The only other traffic on the road were other ranchers. At the time I only wanted to be home with my friends but it was here where felt the euphoria of living away from sounds and stresses of town.
You don't realize how much low level stress you live with until it disappears. The sounds traffic, the town gossip and those little things some people do that irritate you are all grinding on your mental state.
Heightened perceptiveness. When all the background noise stops, the sounds of the moment fill the void. You can smell the past rains as you walk through a freshly cut hay field. The stiff stalks give a satisfying crunch under your boots. On a crisp morning first rays of sun feel sweet on your skin. These new heightened perceptions are a semi meditative state for me that feel healthy.
Freedom. I feel free when I'm away from other people. Free from any social judgement. Free from physical restrictions of a busy street or neighbors fence. Free from those low level stresses that must take years off our life.
Even with all these benefits, I, like billions of other people, choose to live in a city. The amenities and opportunities of the city outweigh the costs of the stress and freedom. However I think there is a way to bring the benefits of hte city the country. This will be the topic of future posts.