I was born along the shores of a large body of water in the center of the country, an area considered the Prairies. I love wide-open skies with horizons that go on forever. On hot summer nights watching the sun set as the lake’s waves lapped gently against the shore sparked my imagination. I felt a connection with my landscape, a bond, a belonging.
My landscape was volatile. One moment it was peaceful, the next, the wind brought pounding rain with lightning strikes and claps of thunder that would make anyone believe there was life in the heavens. In the winter, ice crystals coated my eyelashes and the reflection of the moon on the snow acted as streetlights along dark country roads. This was my landscape for most of my life. I have often wondered how this landscape shaped who I am as a person. I do know the familiarity of this place even in my thoughts is a comfort to me.
Now on the West Coast I anticipate cherry blossoms, the petals of a bridesmaid’s bouquet announcing the engagement of summer. I walk to the ocean and imagine not a man on the moon but a man of the mountains. The trees of my forest are ancient. How could I not want to hug them?
It is when I walk along the ocean my landscapes meet. I listen to the waves against the shore and as they recede, the stones chatter and I feel the bond and belonging I felt along the shores of my childhood prairie ocean.
My landscape is the canvas on which I live my life. It is what inspires my creativity.