Tree Change – The Country Difference

It must be six years now since Gloria and I left Sydney, moved a few hours inland, and started “country life”. At home we now have the benefit of a garden, not quite the acreage that was part of our initial dream, but it is a lot more than we had in our Sydney flat. It is also much more manageable than our dreamed of acreage would have been. Our ¼ acre gives us more than enough to do on weekends.

Disappointingly my employment situation means that my working week is little different to my life in the city. From Monday to Friday I’m still stuck at a desk, staring at a computer. While the details of the work are different, the broad nature of the work is much the same.

It’s not quite the change I had imagined when we decided to make the move but there are some positives. I no longer drive to work through city streets choked with traffic. I work several kilometres out of town and I can get from home to the office in about 10 minutes on traffic free roads.

Instead of streets lined with buildings I drive through farmland populated by sheep or planted with various crops. Apart from the occasional truck loaded with stock, or sheep on the road being moved from one paddock to another, the main driving hazards are the wildlife.

Kangaroos have frequently jumped in front of or even into the side of vehicles around dawn or dusk, and smaller critters can see the road as a suitable place to bask in the sun and it’s not uncommon to see large lizards, small turtles and various bird species “playing chicken” with traffic.

My thoughts today have been inspired by the sounds around the office. While we do have a few vehicles moving around the company’s compound, the most consistent sounds over the last couple of days have been from the neighbouring farms mustering their sheep.

Their pens are close to our boundary and the sheep have been vocally protesting about the disturbance of their usual routine. This current reminder that I’m no longer in the city almost makes up for the disappointment of being cooped up in this office.

2 thoughts on “Tree Change – The Country Difference

  1. I don’t believe man was created to dwell in cities – villages and small settlements yes – cities, no!

    We are the highest part of creation and may not completely divorce ourselves from the reality of what the Creator has done for us, and for His greater glory.

    Much Godlessness has it’s roots in cities, as well as inhuman conditions and expectations of each other. The sense of small community responsibility toward one another disappears in cities.

    I spent an enforced teenage years in the very centre of London, and as soon as I could got out, back to deeply rural setting where I belong; where I can appreciate the handiwork of our God, Himself the ultimate artist, not needing to look at man’s handiwork in architecture and admire man’s creation.

  2. I totally agree Martin.
    Cities seem to be man’s attempt to cover up the glory of God’s creation with concrete and steel.
    Even the magnificence of the stars is obscured by light pollution.
    Also the cities remove the relationship between mankind and our food – something is lost when food becomes a commodity obtained from a shop and we are no longer aware of the process of growing or raising crops and livestock. The way food is processed today further removes us from God’s creation. Food created in a “lab” replaces naturally grown or raised produce.*

    The principle of sowing and reaping is given a lot of importance in scripture – but the principle is foreign to those who have no relationship with the practical reality of planting seed and seeing grow into a harvest.

    *[I used to work for a food company and I know what they do to make a “consistent” product: bleaching and deodorising raw natural products, then re-adding flavour and colour in quantities fitting “market” requirements.]

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