Thursday, July 05, 2007


PRICING THE OUTDOORS


After days of heavy rainy-season rain, except for when I was in the office (yesterday heavy and continuous rain through which I gazed at my stacks of logs to be split), here I am on another sunny day in the office, recalling how the lake looked this morning not long after I awoke at around dawn into the thick silence that falls like a sky-sized blanket when a monsoon rain abruptly stops-- and way up there on the mountain the residual mist makes the atmosphere visible, imparting new depths as it dissipates with the rising light...

I stood at the big glass doors that front the living room and sipped my tea while watching the sky clear and the lake turn blue, starting with a ragged hole of golden sunlight opening over the middle of the cloud-gray water, the hole widening as the clouds broke up, into crumbly tufts by the time I was freewheeling downhill through the scattering mist to catch the train that took me to what by the time I arrived was a warm sunny city.

That morning scene recalled to me this snippet from an article by Barbara Ehrenreich:

"I need to see vast expanses of water, 360 degree horizons, and mountains piercing the sky -- at least for a week or two of the year. According to evolutionary psychologist Nancy Etcoff, we all do, and the need is hard-wired into us. 'People like to be on a hill, where they can see a landscape. And they like somewhere to go where they can not be seen themselves,' told Harvard Magazine earlier this year. 'That's a place desirable to a predator who wants to avoid becoming prey.' We also like to be able to see water (for drinking), low-canopy trees (for shade), and animals (whose presence signals that the place is habitable.)" The Rich Have Priced the Outdoors out of Everyone Else's Hands [Except where I live. RB]

I do like a broad expanse of landscape, especially above water, though it's been a long time since I felt like either predator or prey. As to "animals whose presence" etc., the deer (that I would have sworn had all moved way upmountain by now) just ate all my chard and all the leaves off my bean plants, acknowledging in their deery way my small efforts at making the place more habitable.



3 comments:

Steph said...

Oh my, I love this blog. I found you just surfing around. Consider yourself blogrolled!

Maya's Granny said...

I also have that wonderful view that includes water. And other than the fact that the recent fireworks chased all the animals into the hills for a week or so, they pretty much hang out around my place. The bears use my staircase, the porcupines gnaw on my trees.

Bob Brady said...

Thanks, Steph, just dive into the archives.

Maya's granny, so glad we can share.