We are all products of where we were raised. Of course we all have personal preferences, and may end up roaming far and wide from our home town. It is so true though that what we grew up in, the type of place where we spent our formative years, gives a huge weight to what we consider normal.
I am a country girl at heart, Lord have Mercy, I really am. Give me woods and trees, interspersed with long, wide, ranging fields. Give me no buildings for miles, and your next door neighbors being a football field away. Give me breezes that smell only of trees, grass, flowers... and yes, maybe a touch of manure or skunk, but not exhaust or hot pavement.
Gwen is very much a girl of the suburbs. Not a city girl, by any means... a yard is a must for her. But she would find it all a bit shocking and scandalous not to have multiple grocery stores within a 10 minute ride, or not to be able to hit up a restaurant of any cuisine anytime we desired.
But here's the good news. In the hot of the summer, she too becomes a bit of a country girl. My roots, the root of her roots, show in her love of Nonnie's big flower gardens. Her desire to be outside and see only animals and plants. To have her bare feet firmly planted in the grass, the sun on her face, and the birds providing the music of her days.
I'm so glad.
There is nothing wrong with suburb or urban living, but there is something so grounding and healing about seeing your child find solace and peace in the same place that instantly calms your soul. No matter how far we or she roams, I want her to know that this countryside belongs to her too.
For all of her days.