Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban vs. Rural Living

Watching Peanut play in the dirt at the farm today, I was reminded of how much she enjoys playing in sandboxes, dirt piles and the like. The main difference is that here on the farm, she's able to use real potatoes when she plays at gardening. We don't really have a lot of space, or the time frankly, to garden at our home in Seattle. This makes being here in Osaka and extra special treat. The girls get exposed to an entirely different way of life.

I confess, when I'm here, I miss the easy access to coffee shops and parks and playgroups that we enjoy at our home in Seattle. But we absolutely have the advantage of being closer to some aspects of "nature". The ironic part is that where we're located here in Osaka used to be truly rural, but at this time, development continues to encroach more and more as industrial businesses move into the neighborhood without, as far as I can tell, any real "urban planning" or design. As a result, the kids in the neighborhood now play in empty parking lots where fields used to be. I think it's a sad thing.

When we were here last spring, some of Gboy's friends' kids came over one afternoon to pick some carrots and daikon. They were incredibly excited to see where the vegetables came from and to actively participate in gathering their own food for dinner. This is just one more reason why I hate to say, "Let's just sell off the land and the farm and live in the U.S. 100% if the time as we had planned once upon a time." It seems more and more vital to keep this slice of life intact, not just for our family, but for the community at large. I'm not sure what the future will bring or if I'll ever really be able to adapt to living this more rural lifestyle even part-time, but for now I keep wishing that we'll be able to find a way to make it work.

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