Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Nine miles from here the outer edges of a 40 mile urban sprawl reaches from the edges of Lake Michigan to the rural countryside. The clash of suburban and rural surprisingly hasn't created much of a spark, but the contrasts are dramatic nonetheless.
I've mentioned before that this is probably one of the only places where a Coach handbag store lies within two miles of a livestock feed store. There are no glitzy 24 hour fitness centers in the country - farming is a physical endeavor - no need to pump iron. Kids get exercise doing chores and playing in the barns and on the property.
But just nine miles from here children are pushed along in "burleys". Out in the country burly means stocky, stout, hearty. I'm not saying either culture is better than the other. They're just different and it seems to me that we're able to abide each other. We must remember though that Illinois farmland is black gold and has taken thousands and thousands of years to develop - once lost to development will never be recaptured.