A rural life I could live with

Described below is a rural setting that sounds very livable. It has real community, and culture. I personally will always prefer cities, and actually real cities are collections of villages. Which maybe explains why this description of remote villages in Romania sounds like a rural life that I could live with.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because a lot of people in the doomer / prepper groups are saying that everyone has to move out to the country and live with just one or two or a few people on a big piece of land. Truly that is the opposite of sustainability. Not only does the math not add up with 8 billion people on the planet, but also, most people cannot survive, let alone thrive, without sharing labor and ideas and BEING WITH EACH OTHER.

“Weary hooves scuffed up clouds of dust as the herd trudged up Viscri’s dirt-road high street, stopping to gulp water from a trough beneath a gnarled walnut tree. Routine kicked in, and they peeled away through arched gateways and into their own cobbled courtyards, where they’d be milked and fed for the night.

“This was the evening procession of cows, when residents gather outside their pastel-coloured Saxon homes to watch the herds return from pasture – a daily ritual that’s been signalling the end of the working day in Viscri, Criț, Biertan and the other medieval villages of south-eastern Transylvania’s Târnava Mare region for hundreds of years. …

“… the area has a fascinating barely-changed-in-centuries feel to it; horse-drawn carts are the main method of transport and residents eke out a sustainable existence from smallholdings or shepherding. …

“Storerooms were fashioned out of the thick walls, and when Viscri was under attack, its villagers would retreat with their livestock into the church and sit out the siege. The rest of the time, the rooms were used to keep dried hams and bacon fat; the church’s so-called “Lard Tower” was opened every Sunday so that each household could take a single piece of fat or ham to last them the week, a tradition that only ended in the early 1990s.

“On the laneways running down from the church and in the surrounding streets, I came across little stalls outside some of the houses, each one draped with woollen socks and gloves and colourful slippers, the fruits of an initiative that helps local women earn an income. Cristina Vasilche, who has been making two pairs of slippers a day for the last 10 years, showed me the process, scrubbing each alternate layer of wool and linen mesh with soap and water until the supple shoes took shape. …

“Liviu Damian, the man chosen to look after the village flock this season, was spending the entire summer at the sheepfold here, his only company a couple of local shepherds and the fierce sheep dogs that (mostly) keep the area’s wolves and bears at bay. His temporary home was a bare-floored shack, where he cooks, eats, sleeps and – in the room next door – makes cheeses using an assortment of wooden troughs and trays. There were about 180 sheep under his watch, which his shepherds milked by hand each evening; most households own between 10 and 20 sheep, and they all receive a few kilograms of cheese from Damian each week.”

“Europe’s remote, lost-in-time villages” (Keith Drew; bbc.com)

Interestingly, the feeling I get from this description of a small rural village region in Romanoa has more in common with my experience living in one of the most densely settled areas of central Tokyo than it does with my experience of modern rural areas in the USA. Community, traditional culture underlying everything, stacks of beneficial interactions and relationships.