RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
on To The Woods
I love "the woods" which for me includes the high deserts. In fact I love open country with access to wide skies even more than forests, where it can be gloomy and where I tend to get claustrophobic after a couple of days. I spend as much time as I can in nature. At my home in Corvallis I have easy access to many hiking trails so it's easy to get to nature without driving.
Yet, however wonderful it can be to live in the "woods," is that the best way to alleviate the perils of modern life? My solution is to live in a small town. In fact, a simple, non-consumptive life in the city is likely to be the more "green" choice (I have seen research about this but don't have any citations close at hand to offer). Cities have much to recommend them; the availability of compact, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and public transportation are some of the amenities not available to those who choose to live 3 miles down a dirt road. To me, one of the major scourges of modern life is the single occupancy internal combusion-powered vehicle. I would never be able to justify to myself living in a place where I had to drive everywhere, for many reasons, the most recent and perhaps most compelling being the gulf oil spill disaster.
Living in the woods doesn't solve the problems of modern life except for a few. Imagine how it would be if more of us wanted to have our 5, 10, 50, 100 acres. There would be a lot less "woods" (in the sense of undeveloped, "wild" land). In fact, I've seen how this works in other parts of the country that don't have Oregon's strong land-use laws. Florida, for example, has many areas of small acreages in the country, but it's certainly not "the woods" anymore.
Another aspect: how are those who don't have the resources to obtain and live on land away from the city, those who are probably the ones who need it the most, to "escape?" Perhaps a long-term solution could be to bring the ameneties of the woods to the city. Dim the lights, quiet the noise, have more green space easily accessible in all neighborhoods. Many problems to solve, but it could be done by creative, involved citizens.
And, yes, sorry, but I can say that living in the city confers no less wisdom than living in the country. Not that I myself at 61 can claim to have it, but there are many wise people in my town. Wisdom doesn't care where you live.
I see the Milky Way on my trips to the desert. I bring it back to my city home in my heart.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
view in context