Our friend Francis in Nova Scotia keeps us supplied with photos of his favorite places on Cape Breton Island. That’s where the photos in this post were taken. I’m a city girl, born and bred, and I grew up to the usual urban din having lived and attended school in the heart of a large metro area.
But my parents both grew up in rural areas, and as a result, we saw plenty of country growing up each summer both in Southwest Missouri and also up in northern Minnesota. I think somewhere inside, I have a bit of country girl waiting to get out.
Our family once took a bouncing, jolting car journey across a field where a road used to be. We were driving to see the old abandoned house where my great-grandmother used to live when my mom and her siblings were growing up. They spent some war years there while their parents worked in a plant making airplanes to fight Hitler.
The house was in an advanced state of decay. In a shed, we found an old textbook from my uncle with his nickname written in the cover. We walked a bit in the fields near the house that late afternoon. Mom shed a few tears over the many memories there in those Missouri hills. She was raised a country girl, and she still is one.
The country road in the photo on this post draws me in. The thought of walking down that road brings peace just thinking about it. Add Tom and a picnic basket, and that would be about as good as it gets.
I was driving on a very isolated country road in Wisconsin once when we passed a horse and her young offspring quietly standing by a wire fence. I pulled over to let the children watch them for a while. (They had never seen a horse close up except for a depressed looking pony giving rides at a fair.) There is nothing so restful in this world as to watch animals like that in their own element. The horses stared at us with their big dark eyes, chewing solemnly and thinking their horse thoughts. I wanted to touch their soft noses, but decided as a city slicker that watching was probably a better idea.
I’ll never forget that day gazing at those beautiful creatures and experiencing the quiet of the country. No sirens, no obnoxious motorcycles filling the air with their nerve-shattering noise, no interstate with the eternal roar in the distance. Just the fields shimmering in the summer sunlight and the occasional song of a bird.
In our suburban world nature is paved over, restrained, poisoned with toxic chemicals to keep unsightly weeds at bay, and allowed only in small little orderly patches. It has to be that way, I guess. But country roads beckon me where you can hear the crunch of a dirt road under your feet, where animals and insects go about their business unhindered, and you get to see the whole panorama of God’s creative genius.
The whole earth is full of God’s glory. Humans build towering complexes and buildings that seem to defy gravity, and the architects should have their due, but nothing can come close to the world of nature created by the word of our Creator’s mouth. All it takes to see it is a walk down a country road.
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.