1. There isn't a neighborhood association to tell you what you can and cannot do.
2. The outside is just as important as the inside (sometimes even moreso) and space to run and play is part of who we are.
3. It smells good.
4. Getting away from people forces you to figure out who you are. That's important.
5. I can tell the kids to "go outside and play" and not have to worry about them getting snatched.
6. It's pretty almost everywhere you look.
7. You can see the stars and have big bonfires and play baseball without smashing any windows.
8. The kids can ride their bikes without leaving home and without helmets like it used to be.
9. They know how to play with virtually nothing for hours and have a ball.
10. I can run without ever leaving home. Follow me.....
I start off at the tire swing and go past the tool shed,
across the slate path,
down the hill,
past the firewood,
by the dogs (hi dogs),
past the chickens (hi chickens),
up to the beanfield,
down the path that the man of the house cuts for me,
by the neighboring field,
dodging the deer tracks,
and past the newest brushpile waiting to be burned (hint: this is what yard waste looks like in the country),
into the trail through the woods,
past the old remnants of farm,
under the big branches,
and old cedars,
out into the clearing and past the neighbors,
saying goodbye to the summer's poison ivy (good riddance),
dodging the mine fields full of black walnuts that smell strangely like lilies in springtime,
past the old rusty farm implements left behind so long ago,
and the well-house-turned potting shed,
next year's garden,
and back up to the house where the cannas have forgotten it's November and are on their second bloom.
Around and around I go, over to the barn, out to the road, and back, and I feel awakened, alive and at home.