In her latest blog country kid Nicole Sharp ponders the degrees of separation as people no longer experience having a connection to the land.
Look out your window and what do you see?
Well these days I see house after house and maybe the odd tree.
The old saying of you don't know what you have until it's gone is so true.
Especially after I left a rural community and headed for the big smoke of Invervegas.
The truth is, too many of us take what we have for granted including something as simple as wide open spaces.
Coming off the land to ''town'' means I can no longer drop everything to shoot away for a horse ride at my aunty and uncle's place.
Which is strange considering I now live an hour away from them.
What is it that you have taken for granted?
I know I miss walking into the local pub and knowing 99% of the people in it.
Out home you could walk into that pub by yourself and feel comfortable.
Some people have never experienced what it's like to have the wind in their hair or to stand in sheep shit in bare feet - hmm maybe those are just my unique experiences.
Then there are some who lived on the land and walked away from their childhood backgrounds, washing their hands of a rural connection, and to be honest that annoys me.
Southland is an agricultural-based region.
We are known for our three cars and a tractor traffic jam.
We stop for sheep on the road or the neighbours cheeky pet kuni kuni that managed to escape for the 100th time this year.
Living in a rural community has taught me many valuable life lessons.
Like not to bother with road-rage and to always wear gumboots in a paddock.
I cherish my rural upbringing and it's something I hold close to my heart.
If you have the opportunity, show a city kid how to experience Southland - mud and all.
A lot of people don't get to experience life on the land, even though we are surrounded by it in the south.
To champion the south, start with the land and its people.
Surely, it's not that hard to do?
- The Southland Times