The Meaning of Landscape: road trip through the American Southwest
I LOVE a road trip!
I love driving. I love moving from town to town, from city to countryside, listening to local radio and seeing the landscape change along the way.
It was the same on my recent trip through Arizona. The stunning red mountains, buttes, mesas, canyons and cliffs, the gorgeous desert and tumbleweed (tumbleweed!) tumbling was all so novel for me, dramatic, stunning!. The landscape was like nothing I had ever seen before.
But when I passed the Vermillion Cliffs and started to climb into the Kaibab Forest toward the north rim of the Grand Canyon, I found myself relaxing into the geography. I experienced an emotional response that ran through my body as the landscape changed to something more familiar to me. Being amongst the forest with Ponderosa Pine and Quaking Aspen was like going home after a long trip of fine food to a plate of macaroni and cheese.
It was “comfort landscape”.
An even greater respect for those who change their landscape for good.
Cruise America helped me with this trip by supplying a small RV. It was just me, the open road and big-sky landscapes. When I felt my emotional response to the Kaibab Forest I wondered: what is it about a landscape? How much is the landscape of central Canada part of who I am. Can one change their landscape as easily as changing a city? Does one ultimately find a new landscape relaxing? How long does it take?
People who immigrate must face this issue. They travel to a new country, often with a very different landscape. But, unlike travelers, they may not have the opportunity to go home to the familiar. I have always admired people who take the brave decision to emigrate and this trip has made me even more so.