I grew up in a small town. It was a good place for kids and families to live. We could go out for the day and leave the house unlocked. My dad would park the car in the yard and leave the key in the ignition where he knew he could find it. Nobody robbed our house or stole our car. Families knew each other and there was a sense of community.
If you did something bad as a kid, it had a way of getting back to your parents as fast as a packet of information can move down a fibre optic line in today’s digital world. Maybe the eyes of a community had a way of keeping things in check. Maybe it was limiting to stay.
When I was 17 years old, I left home for university and never lived in my small town again. I didn’t miss it. I felt grown up in the big world. In the years that followed, the city became my home. I loved what the city had to offer – anonymity, diversity, energy and opportunity. I still love it for all the same reasons.
In the past decade, I have been drawn back to rural life where everything is slower, simpler and unadorned. It’s as if I can’t wait to return to that which I couldn’t wait to be free of when I was just starting out in the world.
My life is the circle game, as Joni Mitchell so insightfully captured in her song of the same name. I think all of us look back and remember the days when we were young, when we had big dreams and couldn’t wait to get started on the world.
This song is an acoustic cover of a beautiful and haunting song by Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs. Beg Steal or Borrow isn’t about ripping anyone off to get ahead. It is a metaphor for doing what is necessary to get where your dreams want to take you.