Sunday, November 15, 2009


EDITOR'S NOTE: Even though country people live, look and act much like their city cousins, there's "just something" about rural life that's considerably different. "It's hard to define, but it's there," dad wrote in Down Country Roads. "Maybe it's the clean, fresh air; maybe it's the lack of confinement; perhaps the cooing of doves on a dewy morning or the clear, starry skies on a winter evening: Perhaps a thousand other factors all put together."

I know exactly what he means. Although I couldn't wait to leave the farm and country life and head off to college -- never to return on a permanent basis -- the country remains the place I call "home" even though I've lived in a city nearly 300 miles away for close to 50 years. No, I don't want to go back there to live, but every time I visit I love the smells of fresh-mowed hay, the golden cornfields ripe for harvest and land, lots of land, with nary a billboard in sight. This poem sums it all up nicely.

Not in your mammoth cities,
Nor in your fine abodes,
Will you find the kind of people
That you meet down country roads.

Folks are more contented there,
And they seem to understand
There's a special blessing comes
From livin' closer to the land.

There's an undenyin' power
Of Mother Nature to enthrall,
And they feel the livin' presence
Of the Master of it all.

There's a special sort of comfort
Seems to filter thru the air,
And a special sort of greeting
When you meet a neighbor there.

Oh, I know there's other places
Where a welcome hand extends,
But down the country roads is where
I've found my dearest friends!

--Down Country Roads (1970)

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