We are back in upstate New York now, Columbia County (deer and tick country!) where it is most definitely still winter. We left 85 degree weather last week to arrive at a blustery, average temp of 39-45 degree with a dusting of the white stuff yesterday morning on our lawn! Unreal! Where is global warming?!
In being back home, I see life in much more simple terms. The light is different here. It’s almost translucent and the colors are vibrant. It’s a setting that The Hudson School of painters saw and capitalized on in their magnificent landscapes of trees and farmland.
I hear the sounds of wild turkeys, birds, coyotes, and deer leaping in the brush. My neighbor, who has a farm and chickens roaming around has agreed to sell me eggs on a weekly basis. These are real “free range” “cage free” birds and I’ll be making egg salad from the fruits of their labor!
I understand why people live longer up here. “Men in rural areas on average can expect to celebrate their 78th birthday -two years longer than those in the city-while women will pass 82, almost a year and a half more than their urban peers. It’s official: move to the countryside and you live longer (a study by The Guardian). The stress is gone, the serenity and beauty of the landscape puts one at peace. One of my very good friends’ mother lived to be over 100 yrs old residing in a remote part of Northern Maine. Same principle. How many centenarians does Willard Scott report on in major urban areas? New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago; these are working cities. Everything is stressful in New York City: going to the dry cleaner, waiting for the subway, ordering take out! No wonder people are gray and sallow, grumpy looking, agitated! Don’t get me wrong. I am a New York City girl through and through, but I am getting to like the boonies.
I understand why at this third chapter of life (Jane Fonda refers to it as “the third act”-see link for an incredible Ted Talk courtesy Jane, https://www.ted.com Jane Fonda:Life’s third act) – who doesn’t look a day over 55!!) gives us the time to see things differently, simplistically. When you strip away, excess, material things, competition, greed, jealousy, we can truly appreciate the every day, the each day. I always felt strapped for time, no time to be alone with my thoughts, no time to read (thank God for commuting!), to pick a recipe for dinner, to reach out to a friend and have a juicy hour-long conversation. Now I can and I am and it feels wonderful! Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert, known as Lisa, the socialite wife and Oliver Wendell Douglas, the New York lawyer found Green Acres in 1965 to give them just that. Though Eva went kicking and screaming in her evening gowns and Bulgari jewelry, she grew to accept it. If Eva did it, so can I! Simplicity for simplicity’s sake is my new mantra.
. Truly, stop and smell the roses. Savor the simple things that life gives us every day. Don’t take them for granted. One day, you may not be able to hear those birds singing or see the colors of the morning sky.
. Time is precious. Don’t waste it. Plan your day and get out there. In the words of Muriel, sage purveyor of wisdom, “You can sleep when you’re dead” (which is not to say that I’m not enjoying my going back to sleep in the morning and waking at 10! That’s the beauty of retirement!
Enjoy the ride
xox Barclay and Joy