Are we hardwired for country living?
A study conducted by Exeter University in England found that human brains seem to be hard-wired to process rural landscapes better than urban ones, even for those raised in cities. Does this trait echo a spiritual need for peace and simplicity?
According to Ian Johnson, writing in “The Independent,” people’s brains struggle to adjust to life in the city. We’re more naturally disposed to a state of calm and contentment, such is frequently found in a rural environment. Retreating to the countryside can help to overcome bouts of depression and seasons of uncertainty.
Our surroundings affect us, often in quite subtle, yet significant ways. Perhaps we need to find ways of bringing more of the country – and its peace and creatures – into our lives and our city environments. Can churches play a role in this?