the city & the country


I live a pretty charmed life right now. I work three days a week for an awesome charity, spending most of my work time in a downtown Vancouver office with a view of the Burrard inlet, the North Shore mountains and Stanley Park. My commute to work involves a beautiful train ride, a Starbucks stop and a 20 minute walk along the Coal Harbour seawall. I spend the other four days of my week on the farm, participating in fun outdoor projects with my closest friends.

Seriously? Sometimes I have to remind myself how fantastically good I’ve got it. (Remind me of that the next time I find a gigantic spider sitting on my toilet paper roll in my outhouse).

While I was in the city today a good friend asked me if I planned on staying on the farm beyond my original one-year plan. My honest answer was, ‘I don’t know’. There are so many things that I love about living in Vancouver – the close proximity to many friends, the ability to walk and bicycle pretty much anywhere I need to go, the plethora of coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques, the regular access to the ocean… On the other hand, life in the country is amazing – such a strong sense of community, spending the majority of my time outside, learning lessons about how to garden and farm and interact with animals and nature daily, seeing how much my cats love being outdoors, being ‘Auntie Jawcey’ to two little boys who I adore… It would be difficult to choose between the two – which is why I’m so thankful for the perfect balance that I seem to have found myself in.

Despite my love for the city and urban spaces, the more time I spend on the farm, the more I’m convinced that my ideal future would include living on land, growing my own food and having animals – while having regular access to the city. Kind of like now – other than the fact that I can’t camp out on my friends’ land forever – I’ve gotta find a little piece of my own at some point.

Coming home from work tonight brought all of this home for me. It’s a beautiful evening – still light out, not raining and not too cold. As soon as I got home, the heels came off, the boots went on and the cats and I went for a walk around the farm. I stopped by to say hello to our new pigs and was struck by how delightful they are – they’re like puppies! They come when you call, their ears perk up, their eyes register you… I went into their pen with them and they nibbled at my boot toes and let me scratch their backs before deciding to climb all over each other in an attempt to see who could drink the most water out of their fountain.

From the pig pen, I could see our chickens pecking happily in their run, the yellow spring daffodils adding a pop of colour to their side of the yard. I went to say hi to them too and they all came running up to the fence, hoping for veggie scraps. I went into their coop and found a fresh egg and popped it into my jacket pocket for breakfast tomorrow.

As I was walking around the outside of the chicken run, towards the back forest, the wild male and female mallard ducks that have taken up residence on our pond LITERALLY waddled across my path. It’s the closest look I’ve gotten at the female and she is gorgeous. Lola (my cat) got a good look at her too and got down into the spring position. I grabbed her up and carried her away – I definitely don’t want to see my cats disrupting the happy life of those ducks (or their ducklings which I imagine will be coming at some point).

Then I walked to the rabbit cages to see how our fluffballs were doing and discovered a new nest of baby bunnies! I’m not even joking. This evening was like the epitome of perfect.

On top of all of that, spring flowers are unfolding daily and buds are coming out on our fruit trees and berry bushes.

It’s a good, good life and I don’t think I want to leave it.


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