Rural Thriving

I have days that I am extremely happy that I live a long way from a metropolitan area. I love that I only hear the sound of a car every so often. I love that there are more trees than houses. Really, I can only see one other house from my own. I love being able to go outside and see the stars. And if I drive to a field, I see them so clearly it moves me to tears. I love being able to watch the water level at the creek down the road from my house. I love the smell of the land being washed by the rain. I love that people know people, and that if you see someone at the grocery store, that you have a one in three chance of knowing their family, and a one in five that you know their name.

There are days that I complain. I fuss that I have to drive to get to a special grocery store for my special diet. I wish I lived closer to the places that my husband and I go to hang out with people our age. I plan out shopping lists according to weekly plans, and hope the plans stick. I dream of walking down a main street where I can get to everything by a short walk.

But those things are not all in the same place, and no one ever got anything from wishing it. Not to make an issue of sour grapes, but there are enough things here, where I am planted, that I am blessed.

I am blessed because we have a community of folks with gardens, and they are generous with their extra produce. I am blessed because I can take a walk down my street and everyone I see waves back at me. I am blessed because there is grace here, grace in abundance.

Sometimes, you could look through a telescope and wonder how it all works. I am not particularly fitted for rural living. Well, that is not completely true. I may not love all the parts about living in a rural area, but I do have plenty of experience. I have been able to thrive here.

It is not perfect. And I am not perfect. But I have found a home. I feel a part of this place. I will weep when we are called on to a different community to serve.

I have grown roots here. I didn’t expect it. I am not particularly good at setting out roots. I have places where I still need to work on drawing a foundation. But the roots that I have are surprisingly deep. It will make the ones that I continue to develop, even if they are along the surface, ever more stable.

I have put down roots, and I think I have finally furled out some leaves. I have worked at the buds of relationships, and my leaves are bright chartreuse. Eventually they will develop into the hardy green that shows that the entire tree is sustained. I look forward to the sustenance that I will derive from this land, this air, this sun: these people. Wait, and you can watch me thrive.

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