Landscapes that Speak to Me

There are some landscapes that I could stare into for hours. Some of them are home (Småland, the holiday visit there inspired this post, the sandy patches of pine trees around Berlin), some have become home (Vancouver, Alaska), and some must have been a home in a previous life (Mongolia).

Småland

In Sweden, there are some aspects of the landscape that have their origins in human activity. The stone walls that line field I find truly awesome. They are beautiful, but I always wonder whether I would have been able to assemble even one section of such a wall in a lifetime.

Yes, the soil is obviously extremely rock-fertile, but to pile all those boulders in a stable way on a wall after each plowing? But the walls are very much part of the landscape. I’ve already written about flags and flagpoles. Now, the new windmills are becoming a part of the landscape as well. And so many small beautiful houses that have many small, beautiful outbuildings, mostly in oxblood red with white accents.

But other parts of the landscape are just that, nature. Heading inland in Småland that means bigger and thicker forests of various pines, but also birches, many, many lakes, and an increasing number of boulders strewn about the woods.

On our visit to the glasriket, this landscape also included a couple of moose, to our great delight. What a beautiful landscape.

Other Landscapes

But other than an aesthetic pleasure, what do landscapes mean? Are there some landscapes that I’m more at home in than others? It doesn’t seem that way. From Vancouver and Alaska’s mountains and ocean shore, to Mongolia’s rolling hills, to the flatness around Berlin, those are all very different landscapes and they all speak to me. Some through wildness (Alaska), seeming tameness (Mongolia), or cultured (Europe). Some are very wet (BC, Alaska), some very dry (parts along the Fraser Canyon in BC, also near Tucson when we used to visit there regularly), some densely, some sparsely inhabited. If these landscapes speak to me because of previous lives, than my soul seems to have got around!

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