Many urban readers of the New York Times are accustomed to reading Mr. Borland's editorial page tributes to purling streams and clear country waters. Spurred on by an invitation to contribute his country-based views in the ""now"" oriented Progressive magazine in which these short essays appeared, Mr. Borland has imported our fractious Page One concerns to the calm of the countryside. The results are serenely predictable. Poverty programs, the question of national guilt, space ""breakthroughs,"" urban snowfalls, the work-ethic-all somehow right themselves in a rural perspective in which the seasons are an illuminating allegory. The reality of a January snow (which smells of ice while February's smells of rain); the perfection of a summer dawn, and the irrevocable movements of the seasons in which everything changes but the certainty of change, challenge the predominance of urban values. These hillside and woodsy musings, slumberously cadenced, will continue to offer instant balm to the bruised strap-hanger.