My parents moved to the country when I was in my mid-teens, and it’s the only place I’ve wanted to live ever since. It’s quiet. There’s less traffic. Endangered animals live just on the other side of the fence.
While urban sprawl has been an undeniable issue on our side of town for years, it’s never quite reached us. Every time “progress” tries to grab the open fields, it’s fingers have been slapped and it’s crawled back to the other side of the river. But every time, it leaves with the promise that it will try again in a few years, the moment that it’s allowed to present the proposal before county officials again.
Right now, we sit on the edge of another “again.” Traffic has grown worse since my parents first moved out here. (It can take 30 minutes to drive about 10 miles down the road when it used to only take 15 at most.) Schools are packed. We’re at capacity. But “progress” still wants to come out here, add thousands of new homes (and maybe some apartments, thanks to their zoning proposals), add more cars to already congested roads, threaten the animals and the river.
I’m not a hippy. But part of the reason that we came here was because we like it the way that it is. Quiet. With room to breathe. Away from the city. We chose this life because we are tired of the sprawl, and yet it keeps inching our way.
Fortunately, our community is banding together and fighting to spread the word. We wear pins, we have signs in our yards and our cars. If there’s one thing we won’t do, it’s go down without a fight. After all, some things are worth fighting for.