Monday, March 18, 2013

Into the Virtual Wildnerness

Something just occurred to me that I find curious and wonder what you think.  In general, I'm a city girl.  I love having conveniences that are walking distance from my home - bakery first, of course, but also florists, bookstores, novelty stores and low-end boutiques, consignment shops and most important, coffee shops.  We have parks nearby to satisfy my need for green space and playgrounds for the kids.  It's a small city, so we don't have the smog and the skyscrapers outside of downtown, and even downtown has become more green-conscience and locally-owned.  I love where we live in our 90-year-old dutch colonial house.  That said, I've been persistently nagged by thoughts of rural life, life off the grid.

Let me stop here to explain something important: I wouldn't last a week off the grid. 

I needs my wi-fi and my apps.  Let me also explain something else of equal importance: I am a big wuss.  I've never camped a night in the wilderness or even KOA-approved campgrounds.  Too many bugs and not enough flush toilets.  But part of me must long to go back-to-nature because I read things like Wild, and Into The Wild, which both have the word "wild" in the title; I drool over the Title 9 and Athleta catalogs as if I'm going to take a run in the woods, surf, or throw a boomarang on the beach.  A boomarang!  That's what their models do when they aren't doing yoga (also on the beach) or windsurfing.  (Why do all of their models live on the beach?) 

I do this all the time.

That's me with my tiny waist and compulsive hula hooping in sunny, land-locked Kentucky
 These catalogs serve an audience of women who need sportswear that offers support (for bouncing boobs during cardio workouts) in attractive colors and prints.  Why do I want to dress like a surfer when a walk on the beach brings about irrational panic attacks over misidentified jellyfish?

In addition to reading material and clothing lust, I moon over rural destination vacations, long to inhabit a writing cabin in the woods or the prairie or overlooking a fjord; I pin photos of pretty lakes (I'm not a strong swimmer) and woods (I hate ticks) and gardens (I love to garden, but my yard is currently an overflowing swamp of dog-poo and bare soil). 

Am I living in Country Living fantasyland because it's escapist, or is there something deeper, something visceral that the rural landscape communicates to me?  Do you suffer from this contradiction too, my fine friends?  Do you sit in a local Starbucks plucking away at your laptop where you surf from one beautiful Flickr landscape photo to the next?

In an attempt to quiet this contradiction, I enjoyed two unplugged days with my kids.  We spent some outdoor time on the porch swing on Saturday, but a freak snow/sleet storm drove us back inside yesterday.  I woke up today feeling more refreshed and less frantic than I usually do, so I'm thinking that Weekends Unplugged is my new recharging (pun intended) habit.

 (source images: Title 9)