A Meditation on Country Living

Commentary from 1945 shows the idea that a “country-minded” memory brings joy to those who homestead.

| November 12, 2012

Barnyard Confidential

“Barnyard Confidential” (Voyageur Press, 2012), is a light-hearted glossary of farm lore that features stories from E.B. White, Michael Perry, Roger Welsch, Gwen Petersen and more.  

Cover Courtesy Voyageur Press

What makes living on a farm so special? E. R. McIntyre ponders farming thoughts in this excerpt from the entry on "country mindedness" from Barnyard Confidential (Voyageur Press, 2012), an A-to-Z collection of lore for those living the rural life — or those dreaming of it. 

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To be country-minded and chained and riveted to city living when the spring comes to the fields is woe indeed!

They say that an expatriate is one who is absent by choice, while an exile is one who is absent by compulsion. City slaves of rural origin belong to both classes. There is, of course, a third class to consider — those who never lived in the country and yet who yearn for it constantly when they can find the time for yearning.

To some city-bred folks “country minded” means being ornery and unwilling to think in a definite mold or pattern. It means being “permickety” and stubborn, resistant to modernity, inconsistent and untamed. To illustrate this scrambled idea of theirs, they point to cooperative squabbles and the insistent and never satisfied cry for farm relief and equality. They dub this as being “country minded” when it is only a manifestation of a very common human trait influenced by environment, native habits and politics.

What is it that makes country-minded men come from city offices with a smile when rain breaks a dry spell and causes them to scan the skies, like sailors, during hay time?

harold hanlin
12/5/2012 7:42:41 PM

Excellent read. Thank you.

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