I picked up the March issue of “Country Life”, drawn to its fresh outdoor images. Print has suffered a decline and it’s amazing how this magazine continues to flourish, glossy and bright. And then it dawned on me. Many South Africans want to live in the country – away from the stress, noise and congestion. This is why this particular magazine sells so well. I’m not in the minority, wanting a simpler, cleaner life.
City living is hard on the soul. But, it’s not really the environment at fault, most of our cities and suburbs are green, lush and well taken care of. It’s how we live in the city. The constant drive and pressure, unending speed and impatience, a disconnect in our closest relationships. All this and more brings a fast-paced futility. Life can become empty-hearted with little joy.
I think the country calls to our essence, and reminds us that less can be more, and faster isn’t always better. However, you and I may not move to a small, quaint “dorp” somewhere in South Africa. We may stay in the city, in our workplaces and homes and schools for our children. The city is projected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years. So, if we are here, what do we do?
Well, I think there is only one simple solution. We can choose to change how we live – take some of those good, old fashioned farm town habits and place them into our blended concrete ‘n grass jungles. I don’t want to be unhappy or pointless here. I’m sure you don’t want to either. So, I’m training myself to set the tone of my life gently, with baby steps. Today, I drove slower and allowed harassed motorists to get onto the road. Tomorrow, I’ll take my lunch break in the garden out of the office. It’s how we live in the city or anywhere else, that determines our experiences.
May you be blessed to find the “country” in your city!