from the city to the land

Another way of living is more submerged from nature.

I was 18 when I first left home to live in the city. I left my village, Bermeo, to go to Pamplona to study.  Since then, I have been living and studying in cities, looking for the best place to study biology, sustainability, environmental engineering.  

In this path, I ended up in Copenhagen: quality education, welfare state society and one of the European paradise of sustainability. I appreciated the abundance of organic food in every food store, the dominance of bicycles on the streets, and the very efficient heating and electricity system. Although I could not see myself having a regular office job in the city when I finish my studies there. 

 I was 33 when I came back to my hometown. I wanted a slower life, closeness to nature, and more time to enjoy with family and friends. So, I left behind my life in Copenhagen and started a new life in a village.

My story is one befitting the millennial generation. It may be similar to your own, or it may be quite different. It is a story full of failures, hope, and some success, but at least it is my own uncompromising personal story. The story of learning in the city, meeting many interesting and good people, living and loving a lot and coming back to the land.

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

On this road going back to nature, I’ve been experiencing some very special moments. Nafarrolagoiko baserria, our farm, is located near the river Fantzuene. You can listen to the sound of the water flowing through the land. There are some local trees, such as oaks and willows and plenty of eucalyptus trees covering the land. Luckily there are many places to hide, where you can find roe deer eating the grass happily. On the ground are traces of wild pigs, and in the evening, late in the night, you may be lucky to see others. Once I even saw traces of the badger inside the farm. It seems that the piece of land near our baserri has good energy for animals. Even the neighbours stop near the road to see wildlife there. Since last spring, I started building a little temporary house there and spending more time in the terrain. I felt in harmony and peace there in contact with nature.


This reminds me of Edward O.Wilson ‘s concept of biophilia. That humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Consequently, we feel better surrounded by nature; this is how I felt when I go to the baserri. 

This feeling has ups and downs. One of these ups was this summer when I met a very special wild animal and had the chance to play with him. It was August.  I used to go to work in the afternoon when the weather was not as hot. My goal was to finish the garden I’d started with friends the previous weekend when my wild friend “gorri” show up. I tried to move the soil from one area to the vegetable garden, and gorri sat next to me. I could see that the little fox was a bit afraid but, at the same time, curious. 

She went into the vegetable garden and played with the soil that I had just pilled, like a playful and naughty child, destroying what her sister had done. After that, she began to roll around in the soil nearby. She seemed pleased with the game, and I felt that she was feeling comfortable with my presence. At that moment, I had to approach the farm for tools and, to my surprise, gorri followed me. She wanted to play, and gorri made me her partner. I was delighted to see a wild animal coming so close to me. Also, It was an excellent opportunity to learn how foxes can go into fences, walls, always finding the little open corners. It was pleasant to see her move from the tightest spaces and with great elegance.

Our game became very natural to me, and so we played for an hour or two until I needed to go back to the village. My heart was full of joy on my way home. Gorri, my friend, appear another time. This summer, I could feel that she was around, but she only approaches me when I was alone. Last time that she visited me I decided to take the camera and record the moment.

There seem to be 27 fox species spread over different continents of the world. Hence, most of the world’s cultures have legends and symbologies about foxes. After my meetings with my friend, I was curious about the symbology of foxes, and a friend showed me a lovely book about it.  I’ve been reading about the meaning of this animal in different cultures. Among many other meanings, I’ve found the theory that women’s creative powers are driving them. 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder