Natural habitat

September 22, 2011 § 6 Comments

There is a small private lake – probably more accurately a pond – that I go past on my way to the horse barn. Sometimes, as I am passing, the wind carries a lake-water smell on it. I practically gasp it in. Those are times when my whole self aches for Minnesota.

So I felt that ache tonight, going past after I finished my shift, and then turned my head to see a stunning peach-pink glowing from behind the mountains. At the same time that I thought,

Oh, how beautiful!

I also thought,

I miss rolling land and lush foliage and I am tired of it. I want to see a blazing deciduous forest, cattails at the lake’s edge, and a pasture that has known plenty of rain. I want to see them now.

I imagined pushing the mountains down into the ground and letting green spread over everything, green turning to orange and red, the whole landscape anticipating a golden autumn followed by a deep winter.

And I got home feeling all at once homesick, lonely, disgruntled, impatient, and finally guilty. Isn’t it horribly selfish and fussy to be in a place that some find to be the utmost of beauty and to wish for another kind of beauty? There are things I like about it – things that strike me as marvelous, rustic, whatever, here and there – and I love to document these things and share them and appreciate them. But nothing ultimately fits. It’s like seeing a beautiful dress in a store but knowing you aren’t the one meant to wear it. It’s beautiful, but it’ll look better on your brunette friend with the curves and the wide smile. And you shall have the cotton sundress in the next shop down.

It just makes me wonder: what makes some landscapes fit one person so well, and some fit another? It can’t be only nurture, because lots of people end up loving and belonging to landscapes that weren’t their childhood homes. Some people love certain new landscapes and environments right away. Others don’t. Because life is not easy and not fair all of the time, we can’t always decide where we get to be and when. So what if the places where we end up don’t fit us? What if we are of the temperament that makes it very important to us to find joy-peace-and-inspiration in our surroundings? How long can it take for a person to adapt – and can we, fully, ever?

§ 6 Responses to Natural habitat

  • Amy Lynn says:

    Great post, Erica! I’ve been mulling over similar threads myself. I am newly in love with Minnesota, and find striking similarities between the North shore and the Pacific Northwest and even Ireland. There’s some connecting thread there that speaks to me – maybe that’s all that matters and we aren’t meant to pin it down. 😉

    • Erica says:

      Thanks, Amy. I’m glad the Minnesota love is spreading! Have you seen the North Shore in winter? Yo’ve got to see the shoreline when the lake ice breaks into shards, and gets all piled up against the edge. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Oh, gosh, just talking about this makes me all happy and heartsick at once. So. When are you moving to the North Star State?

  • Amy Lynn says:

    I’ve been mulling over similar threads myself, Erica. Great post. I recently fell in love with Minnesota and find it reminds me of the Pacific northwest and even Ireland in many ways. It speaks to me – maybe that’s all that matters, and we aren’t meant to define it? 🙂

  • Wow, wonderful post, and I can really relate. I’ve had the same experience walking past lakes here in rural Colorado and catching a breeze off the water that almost smells like ocean. I wasn’t born by the sea and I’ve never been a huge beach-goer, but I felt I’d nearly found my place when I lived for awhile in the northern California coastal redwoods. I’m hoping to eventually move all the way to Vancouver Island. You’ve described the entire thing beautifully… I’m becoming a huge fan of your blog. 🙂

    • Erica says:

      It’s good to hear I’m not alone in this experience! Thanks for your kind words, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy what gets posted here. (Also, I have to add – to anyone else reading this – please do yourself a favor and have a look at Mackenzie’s Red Roan Chronicles – simply stunning horse photography!)

  • mark says:

    excellent post, I am sure we are meant to travel slowly, we are not meant to travel fast .. a journey is supposed to take a lifetime

    Mark (Muriel Lee Jones’s friend)

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