I just fired off a note to Michael Enright, host of CBC Radio's wonderful show "The Sunday Edition". Let me share with you the thought behind it.
They ran a commentary from someone named Bill Smart who has lived a wonderful life on the farm but decided, now that he's turned 73, he'd have to give up rural beauty for the city. His essay was about urban gardening, where I gather you get a little square of dirt in some park somewhere and you can plant stuff in it. Sure... nice work if you can get it, I guess.
But here's what I wrote to Michael about. I'm disappointed with this gentleman's admission that at age 73 he felt compelled to leave the farm for the city. Why is it that people hit their 70s and suddenly decide the jig's up: time to prepare for all sorts of deathly emergencies? I clocked up that number recently (and not too happily, I'll confess: 70 seems old, and yet I feel much younger at heart) and I'm rarin' to go! Born and bred in Toronto, I vacated the Big Smoke years ago to move to rural rusticity where I take care of myself and am blessed with good health (my mom turned 99 this year and says I have her genes). I recently bought a wonderful 3-story house with great high ceilings and fabulous architecture in a new locale. I love it but someone immediately questioned, "Why on earth would you buy a 3 story home? You need everything on one floor!" Really? Do they know something I don't? Fact is, I'd be bored with such a design, and I'll be damned if I'm going to live an uninteresting, uncomfortable life "just in case". Another person asked, "How close are you to the hospital?" Hell, I don't even know where the hospital is, let alone how far away it's situated.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not "throwing caution to the wind" and looking to live dangerously. Yet, I'm not about to sit around spending the last third of my life awaiting sudden death. Maybe I'm a fatalist, but I'm confident that if something occurs to alter my lifestyle, then I'll change it. Meanwhile, I'm not about to devote time preparing for something that may never happen.
And you know what: as much as Bill Smart seems to enjoy his urban garden lot, I'll just bet he's pining for that rural existence he enjoyed without the noise, smog, congestion and indifference.
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