As I grow older, I seem to value the countryside around me even more. I think it is a rural idyll that I am looking for, although it seems strange that this desire should develop within someone who was brought up in a thriving city. Within my heart, I have dreams of living in rural seclusion, close to astounding scenery, perhaps in one of Scotland’s mysterious glens.
I know that my dream might simply remain pie in the sky, but I cannot help wanting to spend my days simply admiring the beautiful landscapes that the Creator has provided for all of us to enjoy. As I grow older, I think of escaping to a period property surrounded by high mountains and a flowing stream before it. Around me I will hear birds calling, perhaps catch glimpses of wild deer and enjoy the elements as they come: wind, rain, sun, sleet, snow. After all, we cannot have sunshine all the time!
But as I grow older, I am also sensible of the fact that the body starts to slow down and takes longer to repair itself. Practicalities are important for the older person; one needs to have easy access to medical care, and even perhaps some near neighbours in case emergencies arise. Thus I think often of how one should weigh things up – convenience or rural seclusion.I have lived now in a few countries, and there is one specific glen in Scotland that calls to me: Glen Lyon. I remember travelling the narrow road that traversed by the side of a meandering river. On either side of the river, there were fields and hills rising skywards. Along the way there were pretty period properties of differing styles. To my mind, this glen offers the best of both worlds: a small community of residents especially for those times when one needs human support as well as the opportunity to live in close proximity to the glorious natural beauties of mountains and vales.
My husband and I also share another dream – that of enjoying an easy pace of life on board a narrow boat. We have, in the past, taken great delight in chugging along slowly as we absorbed the peace that surrounds life on a canal boat. Sit in the prow and take in the scenery while on the move or moor up and take a walk to the closest village for sustenance if you do not wish to cook. It’s a slow-paced life that offers one the opportunity to be close to nature as well as civilisation.
However, as I think about residing close within nature, I cannot decide whether I wish to be nomadic, albeit with a ‘home on my back’ like a tortoise, or to stay put in one place. There is in me a desire to gallivant as well as the soul of a homebody. Who knows what will happen in the future? And will I grow older?
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