"They're growin' houses in the fields between the towns,
And the late night drive-in movie is closin' down
The road has gone to the way it was before,
And the spaces won't be spaces anymore"...
Travelling down the 401, Ontario's superhighway that cuts along Lake Ontario and through the Greater Toronto Area, I was struck by the old farms I saw. Transports and thousands of cars race by what were once quiet homesteads: old houses built from the limestone that is found nearby, and pastures hewn from Canada's old-growth forests using man, woman, and horse power. Now, billboards for the next rest stop litter the fields, and big box stores and factories interrupt the landscape. Prefab homes sprout behind noise-reduction walls, where once crops grew and animals grazed.
"Old Highway 17" that took us through the small city of Pembroke, and all the forests and farms that provided us with peaceful green views until we reached the big city. There is research being done about the effect of a beautiful view on our spirits (the researchers don't refer to our spirits of course, but to the endorphin receptors in the parts of our brain that are stimulated by looking at, say, a forest scene or a lake view).
Ah...a Gaspe Peninsula FarmWhether we think it's good for our soul or good for our brain, we can all agree that green spaces are a good thing. Billboards and box stores? Not so much. When things get hard for us financially (like right at this moment, for instance) and I feel like giving up on the homesteading dream, I just need to remind myself of all those abandoned farms, where once corn grew; I am filled with new optimism and resolve to find a way to keep my family here, come hell or high water. The world's farmland is precious, and dwindling...and certainly worth fighting for.
"Houses in the fields, no prayers for steady rains this year,
Houses in the fields, there's houses in the fields...
The last few farms are growin' out of here..."