Even though Cycle Write blog is peppered with wilderness photos and near poetic odes about Nature, at heart, I live best as a City Mouse. An urban life person.
Sure I’d love to claim that I revel in cabin or at least home living in the unlit forest. There is an implicit suggestion, that liking urban life means a person is leaning on the crutch of other people nearby, for intellectual stimulation and support. That one cannot be truly independent and not enjoy quiet solitude in the city.
I would like to offer two main thoughts:
- Solitude in the woods or living in very rural area works if you are well-prepared, healthy and mobile. It doesn’t work if you become increasingly fragile or weak, less physically mobile or cannot do daily chores yourself. We are all dependent on other people who care for our well-being.
- Contemplative solitude is possible in daily city living. Your creative imagination, your Muse can be just as deep and expansive as living in rural area.
Below are some amusing (to rural folks) moments about my awkward, sometimes funny encounters as City Mouse toying with the romance of Country / Wilderness Mouse living.
Rural and Wilderness Nights Just Pitch Black
Yes, it’s nice to see a constellation of stars. But I can’t even see my own hand in front of my face when I go to the campsite outhouse. I joked with Jack who owned a 100 acre-farm: Was he ever temporarily lost at night, on his own property? He was once.
Whenever we go mountain snowshoeing into evening, I want to shuffle down quickly to our hotel’s warm lit coziness.
Feeling Lost In Winter Night Wilderness
Once at evening dusk, I panicked mildly when I snowshoed solo towards our hotel. I wasn’t sure. Snow and ring of mountains looked all the same. I was lost on a mountain slope with no signs, but I could hear snowmobiles whining away several kms. away. I suddenly realized this was worse than being lost on bike in the dark: it was winter cold! Enough said.
Jack retraced his steps half an hr. later from our hotel at mountain base, to fetch me. (I didn’t have a cellphone –not that cellphones work in all rural-wilderness areas.)
You Need to Have a Car-Dependent Life
Unless you live at the village centre or there’s terrific public transit (which probably doesn’t run often daily), then a carbound lifestyle is necessary. This especially true in North America, where land mass distances are just greater.
Rural Limits on Local Cultural Diversity and Organized Arts Activities
Unless I live at the village centre or tootle around by car, I can’t expect much varied cultural options weekly. An exception would be if I lived in a tourist rural area. For local residents after awhile, it can be bothersome dealing with tons of tourists year-round.
Rural and Wild Animal Noises Freak Me Out a Tad
When we camped in a campsite, Jack was amused when I was afraid of the cows peering and mooing over the fence where our tent was just 10 metres away. Last year, I got excited when I thought I saw wild animals in the forest national park. It was just cows staring back at us, by the fence boundary. I put this animal noise fear to the fact that I come from a family that never owned a dog nor cat.
(However I did encounter a wild bear cub less than 10 metres away in our hotel parking lot at a national park. We have cycled by, only 10 metres away from bighorn wild sheep.)
Crime and Safety Coexist in Countryside and City
People like to cite the higher risk of crime in city. I guess. Crime happens out in rural areas too because it’s harder to detect immediately or call for immediate help. Besides, nowadays online fraud these days knows no boundaries for victims anywhere in the world.
Your Personal Affairs- How Some Country Mice Cope
Some folks think that rural living means neighbours stick their busybody nose in your personal life. However, I know several long-time friends who have coped very well in villages and towns. They are careful on what to reveal to neighbours about their personal lives and decisions. But these are friends, who also cultivate strong friendships with others in city and elsewhere. I have been that City Mouse, an antidote and confidante for Country Mouse long-time friends. They have reciprocated by hosting me in their homes for a taste of Country Mouse living.
However, each of these Country Mouse friends, have recently moved to a city. To be close to services and people with similar interests.
So there is a time and place in one’s life for Country Mouse or wilderness living. If you have chosen this, enjoy the most while your health lasts and your friends are still around.
Urban Life Lover- Greater Choices Now and Long-Term
As for me, I’ll just be an urban life lover and resident –without distractions of tv., Facebook, Twitter or cellphone. For the last few decades, I’ve found my imagination in peace and solitude already. I have good friends and loved ones in the city. I occasionally wander into Nature and wilderness with a map, and return to home.