Tuesday, September 4, 2012

California Hills

In my mind's eye this landscape--the classic California rolling hills, golden in color and dotted with dark green oaks--is the platonic ideal of landscape. Say "hills" to me and this is what I picture. Born and raised here, I will never be able to shake off (nor would I want to) the persistent belief that this, right here, is exactly what nature looks like. My mother tells the story of moving to the Bay Area from the Midwest in the 60s and how these hills struck her then--and on some level still strike her today--as an "exotic" landscape. I understand this, because that's just how I feel about pretty much every other landscape on earth, whether natural or man-made: Pine trees descending right to the water line in Maine? Irrigated lawns abutting desert washes in Arizona? Brownstones in Brooklyn? Mansard roofs in Paris? Exotic. The above? Normality at its very best.

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