There’s something inordinately peaceful about the country. Now that I count myself as one of its residents, I can see how the pasture has earned its reputation for offering a life that is simple, quiet and slow.
Despite the work involved in tending animals, maintaining buildings, keeping up gardens and on top of vegetation. Despite the challenges of tank water (you can’t ring the town supply provider when something goes wrong), cell-phone reception (three steps north-west of the rose bush and a half-turn to the left might guarantee sixty seconds of clear connection), and rigorous breezes threatening to wrest my washing from its line (one doesn’t realise just how inefficiently one uses clothes pegs until one is required to use them properly to secure one’s washing against the prevailing wind).
Despite all of this, life is ‘slow’ now.
Even these days, when boy racers use our country lanes at intervals to flex their vehicular muscle, sending flurries of road dust swirling and frightened birds and beasts bleating.
Despite this, life is ‘quiet’ now.
And after three months ‘at country’, one clear winner for the prize of best-thing-about-living-in-the-country comes, for me, in the form of the humble letterbox.
When you have a letter to send, you seal it up in its envelope, address it, stamp it, and PUT IT IN THE LETTERBOX AT THE END OF THE DRIVEWAY. The gorgeously blonde Kathy, rural delivery postie extraordinaire, drives past in her updated-version Postman Pat van every morning around 9 o’clock, collects my letter and TAKES IT FOR ME TO THE PLACE WHERE ALL LETTERS GO TO FIND THEIR DESTINATION.
I am almost entirely passive in the transaction. And it costs me not a cent.
Ah, rural delivery. Bless you and keep you.
After all, I’m far too busy feeding the weaner, yanking the hedge weeds and standing on my head trying to get a few cellphone bars to do something as completely urban as taking my letters to the post office to mail.