10 October 2014

A Different Pace, A Different Way

To be honest, I've never really considered myself a "city-girl," as I always picture that term applying to some New York sophisticate, or some such thing. But really, having never lived in the countryside before, I am finding that I am a little bit more city than I thought.

The spiders and mice are a continual surprise to me. And a few weeks back, I was chatting on the phone outside and a bat swooped down over my head nearly sent me into apoplectic shock. However, in spite of my ninny-outburts, I quite enjoy passing the days here. Perhaps it is the countryside, perhaps it is France, but I find the pace slower here. I like that very much.

To be clear, it's not to say there isn't as much to do. Au contraire! There is plenty to be mindful of and that requires attention. But somehow, life here is both busy and slow. There is work to be done, but less rushing about. I like smiling at the cows on our way to school in the morning (Did you know French cows respond to Bonjour and not Hello? It's true!). I'm rather fond of putting on my rubber boots to go retrieve the laundry from the line because the ground is getting a bit sloppy. And it's such a nice problem to wonder what do do with all the walnuts that fell from the treehouse.

There is regular family life and housekeeping to be done, to be sure. I'm still consistently behind in accomplishing about 423 things on my to-do list. But here, time often is less frenetic in the accomplishing. It's spent setting and checking mice traps, wondering how to arrange the purchase of eggs and milk from the farm next door, watching the weather to know when to do a load of laundry so it can still dry outside, and planning on a Saturday of family walnut cracking with some hot apple cider.

In my old house (which I did love dearly!) we didn't have mice, laundry was dried in the machine at any time of day and there were too many things to do on a Saturday to just sit around cracking walnuts. It's not that I think one way is better than another, I really don't! But it is enlightening to me to experience a different pace, a different way.

*What have you learned from the different places you've lived? Have you taken habits and lessons from one environment and applied it to another? Was it successful?


  1. oh my, those are deep questions you ask at the end - all I wanted to say was that I do dry my laundry outside and one of the reasons is because I am in touch with the weather and the seasons and that makes me feel more grounded and vital in this city. Today was such a blowy sunny autumn day - such a joy to look out the window at my flapping laundry and look at the sky as grey clouds raced by without raining.

  2. How very true! I haven't thought of it quite like this!