Driving through the cornfields of Southern Ohio a few weekends ago, I was confronted with the realization that I had not been surrounded by miles of growing vegetation and farmland in months. To some this might not seem out of the ordinary. But for much of my life, I've remained in places where I was surrounded by them.
After living in Pittsburgh for the last ten months being surrounded by urban decay, I felt such comfort.
As a part of the Summer Reading Challenge I've committed myself to, I'm currently reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. The author weaves her story of what it was like restoring an old farm house among olive groves and grape vines in Southern Italy. Thus far, I was having trouble really getting into it, but was struck by a few lines in particular. Mayes writes,
"Southerners have a gene, as yet undetected in the DNA spirals, that causes them to believe that place is fate. Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it."
While I would argue that this "gene" is not specific to Southerners, I absolutely believe in the truth of this statement. Tried as I did, to rebel against my country roots in high school and college, I'm finding it undeniable that the country is who I am.
I am not suited for city living. I can't stand the hectic pace, the noise, the traffic. I crave a home where I am greeted by honks and waves by passing neighbors as I pull into the driveway. Where I am able to escape the busy-ness of humanity and escape to pray amidst the flora and fauna of God's creation. Where I can be at peace.
Pittsburgh, it's been an experience, to say the least. But my heart lies elsewhere. I guess I'm a country girl, after all.
|View from my hometown back porch- Cato, NY|