This was one of the firsts posts from my former blog, “Careless Talk Costs Lives.” I am moving some of the old posts that I don’t want to lose over to Squirrel’s Spot. Today, while marveling at the beauty of autumn in New York, I again pondered the question that I ask in this post–“I never quite realized how much my sense of natural beauty is biased towards lush greenery. …I wonder if I would think differently if I had been born and raised here. What if the landscape I’m used to, attached to, were the alien one?” As they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I am glad that I had opportunity to live in El Paso so that I could ponder these things.
It was cloudy today. I stepped outside to do laundry and it smelled like rain. It was cool. I wanted to throw open the window and doors and let the rain-smell come into the apartment. Later, it did rain. Today was a refreshing break from the monotony of sun and heat that has been with us since March. It was a beautiful day.
I am from New York State (you know, that land mass next to New York City). It’s green. Rain is not a big deal. Often, it’s an annoyance. Moving down here to Texas and living in the desert has given me a greater appreciation of rain, and of water in all of its forms. The landscape is like the moon, if the moon had prickly scrub everywhere. It’s brown and tan with splotches of tired, dusty-looking green. I never quite realized how much my sense of natural beauty is biased towards lush greenery. Not that I can’t find beauty in other landscapes, but lush green is a beauty that I’m comfortable with. I wonder if I would think differently if I had been born and raised here. What if the landscape I’m used to, attached to, were the alien one?
When people ask if I like it here, I respond that I like three things: the mountains, the sunrises, and the sunsets. I do think the mountains are beautiful–in a harsh way. They’re kind of cool, in any case. In the Northeast, you often can’t see the mountains for the trees. Here, the mountains are the only thing blocking your view of the horizon. And since the only thing they are covered with is some scrub, it’s easy to see their folds and undulations. I think that’s pretty neat. And in the light of the rising or setting sun…well, they can be downright gorgeous. I now know what “purple mountain majesty” means. Although you have to drive about 20 minutes away to find the “fruited plain.” The day we discovered *that* was pretty exciting. I had my nose glued to the car window–”Look! FIELDS! PLOWED FIELDS! Oh my gosh, we just passed over a RIVER!!! Look, an orchard!” Can you tell what I miss?
The mountains here in Texas.
Up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.