Tuesday, June 21, 2011

reflections on the lake

last evening - reflections on the lake
why is that having a view is so important to us as humans?  there was a time, not all that long ago, when it wasn't. here in denmark, the older houses along the harsh west coast have small windows and you can see that people weren't concerned about seeing the sea. they were more concerned about keeping out the wind and the sand. in the laura ingalls wilder books, there's only one passage about how pa got a real glass window for one of the houses on the prairie and it was a tiny one. there was a time when people living along canals and rivers did their best not to see all that dirty water and waste flowing by and those living closest to it were the poorest. today, the most expensive properties brag about their view and their proximity to water. when did our view on having a view change? is it the fault of creative real estate agents? or do we as humans crave the horizon as our horizons have expanded?

we've noticed since moving out to the countryside that our neighbors who have lived here for 40 years have what to us is a curious lack of a seating area outside. if the weather is good enough (and sometimes even if it isn't), we eat outdoors. our neighbor is likely to be mowing his extensive lawn during those early evening hours when we're trying to enjoy a meal outside. but we want him to sell us his barn and a bit of land at the back of it eventually, so we don't complain. we've realized it's just a different view on what activities happen outdoors. to our neighbors, long-time farmers, outdoors is where you work and in the house is where you relax. we work indoors all day and so we want to go outdoors to relax.

we move our table all around the lawn, taking advantage of spots of sunshine (or shade) and wind directions (if we're grilling). and tho' the view of our lake isn't from the table in the garden, it's important to us that it's there. we are drawn to it and seek it out, most often in the evening, during the golden hour when the sun is sinking in the sky. an amble down to the end of the pasture to spend a few moments gazing at the lake in the quiet of the evening makes us feel restful and relaxed. the view is important to our mental well-being. 

i think as our work has taken us farther from nature, we naturally are drawn to it in other ways, so we have larger windows on our homes and we move many domestic activities - like eating - outdoors when weather permits. i surely hope it's not just the manipulation of conniving real estate agents.

8 comments:

nacherluver said...

Great post. Very insightful and I agree with you about how we as people have changed. The farmer is outdoors all day and wants the shelter of his home in the evening. Probably the same as living in "prairie days" when it was important to keep gun totin' strangers, animals and bad weather out. Now we're indoors so much (air conditioned/heated homes and cars) and our careers tend to be more indoors. Our souls yearn for connection back to nature. Realtors just use these truths to their advantage. Lovely pic btw.

celkalee said...

Fantastic lake view, I know that a water view, any water view calms my soul. To have this view so close is beyond wonderful. I agree with your premise about our current lifestyles. The confinement of indoor life makes us crave the outdoors. The air, the smells, the sounds of nature all become symphonic to our ears.

Ally said...

Very well said. I need to be outside so that I don't lose touch with my heart. Too much computering will do that to me. Outside I feel a sense of wonder and perspective that I don't feel while inside.

missing moments said...

I think you are right ... very good post! Being inside, windows are important to me .. my computer and desk look out my backyard ... any other place in my home just wouldn't do!

Barbara said...

breathtaking photo! and i think you nailed it in the last paragraph.

Marilynne said...

You are so right! Our home is only 59/60 years old and it has lots of windows, but only one place to sit outside. We've added a big porch where it's so pleasant to sit in the summer. Now, if I could just move a big lake within viewing range . . .

Molly said...

And remember how Laura hated to go indoors, preferring to be out in the wild wind, even when it was cold and dark.
And Ma always giving her a hard time about wearing her bonnet, while she hated the way it blinkered her view.
I think we could discuss any subject under the sun with reference to the Little House books. I certainly tried at University, with varying levels of success.
The view thing is why I couldn't contemplate ever moving from Cape Town, why would I?

The Painting Queen said...

Stunning view!!! Wow!
Just love it! I also love how you move your table around! I will have to try that now!

We also live in a country area with a lovely view from our historic home and a nice sized porch. Seems every time I sit outside someone in the area starts mowing or weed whacking. It is a running joke. On weekends they are waking us up in the early morning hours with their racket. It is a sick, sick worship of mundane boring lawns. They don't even need it...but heaven forbid their grass grows an inch. Many of these same people's homes look like US post office buildings, with their large metal flag poles on the front lawn. Totally ugly. So it seems there is a lack of appreciation of beauty seen and heard even in the beautiful countryside.