The title is taken from an old country song I heard growing up. The chorus of the song said, "I’m little but I’m loud, I’m poor but I’m proud. I’m countrified and I don’t care who knows it. I’m like a bantam rooster in a big red rooster crowd: I’m puny, short, and little, but I’m loud."
The only thing about that song that applies to me is about being countrified (although my sons would probably take issue with that, since I am now officially the shortest member of the family). I think I have always been countrified, despite being raised in the suburbs in Baltimore. Those long rambles on country backroads with dad were a regular part of our lives as kids. We’d take off in the car, no idea where we were headed, past farms and fields. Dad would point out deer and pheasant and groundhogs along the way. Looking back, I think it was Dad’s way of getting back in touch with his heritage. He was living in town now, not back in the "wilds" of Snowville anymore. He missed country life, the wide open spaces and hills. When I moved here twenty years ago, I was home, I knew it in my bones. This was where I belonged.
Last night I stepped into the brisk air and looked at the sky. Millions of stars greeted me. Stars as far as I could see. I had never seen a meteor shower before we moved here, never saw the Milky Way. The lights around Baltimore kept those things from me. I listened to the night sounds…a dog barking and another one answering in the distance. Horses swishing through the dry weeds. The water tumbling over the rocks in the creek. I would never have heard those musical sounds if we had stayed in Maryland. I would have missed the morning symphony of the birds outside my window. True, the "music" of life in town has a cadence all its own…cars and sirens and footsteps. But that’s a manmade song. It sounds so artificial compared to the music in the hills where I can hear the wind’s whisper in the pine trees or rustle through the dry leaves in the maple. The magnificence of thunder rumbling through the hills during a thunderstorm.
I came inside after watching the stars and sat down here at my computer. Through the open blinds I watched the half moon rise in the dark until it hovered above my monitor. For several hours it was there, like a soft nightlight, while I typed away. And early this morning I was up before dawn. I sat down to check my email and through the blinds I could see the sky changing, the clouds going from gold to pink as the sun made its appearance.
Yeah, I’m countrified…