We knew it had come time to leave the city when the only books we were reading were books about farming. We lived on the third floor of a Brooklyn brownstone, but our hearts were in a field in some unknown faraway place, growing vegetables. All of our vacations were to visit farms and ask the farmers how they got started. We were obsessed.
Still, we were frightened by the idea of leaving our normal lives and starting something new. What was holding us back? We worried about leaving all the exciting, creative energy of city life. We worried about living in the country, surrounded by people who—we assumed—saw the world very differently than we did. Most of all, we worried about feeling isolated. Who would our friends be if we became farmers?
In the end, our obsession beat our fears. And six years later, we can honestly say we feel less isolated and more creatively stimulated than we ever did before. Turns out we were wrong about country life, and we were foolish to be wrong. Life in the country is far from simple; it requires loads of skill, resourcefulness, and courage. Our friends here are doing the exciting work of turning their ideas and dreams into a livelihood. Folks work really hard but are laid-back, make time for long conversations, and help each other out. Relationships tend to be deeper and longer-lasting. Instead of going to bars, we potluck or sit around a bonfire. And because we spend so much more time alone, in quiet, we find one another’s company especially comforting and thrilling. We need one another.
Granted, we don’t live in deep country. We’re in a sweet, rural spot not too far from a larger urban area. Every now and then, we get dressed up and go do special “city” things like drink espresso, people-watch, or eat Thai food. But most of the time, we are happily nestled in our little community, and we feel like we’re becoming quite rooted in it.