It was a long journey, to arrive in this beautiful, pastoral scene. This image is from last summer, shot from the window of our car as my husband and I sped along country highways to a cozy cottage in the Manitoba forest.
Having spent over 10 years living a nearly idyllic life on the coast of California, the Northern prairies were never a place I’d thought I might move to. Since capturing this fleeting, golden moment, I have been granted Permanent Residency in Canada, and I am starting a new chapter in a new landscape.
Summer on the prairie offers some of the most spectacular skies I have ever seen, and on this warm day we’d watched thunderstorms and billowing clouds scattered along the horizon in every direction. As we turned North, the warm light from the setting sun seemed to skip across the pastureland, and the scene was reflected along the glassy water of a lake. This is the day that brought much closer the sense that I would soon be arriving in a new home, and I found myself enchanted by the peacefulness of the landscape, contrasted with the constantly changing sky above and all illuminated by the incredibly long golden hour that low, flat horizons allow.
“After the bare requisites of living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone, or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who scribbles on a wall to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.”
– John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968), The Pastures of Heaven
Enjoyed a beautiful hike in the neighbourhood recently, and the hills are starting to show a touch of green. It was a difficult and dry winter, and with these signs of growth, I will be eagerly awaiting the first bloom of wildflowers. I often joke that I live inside a postcard, and whether one is taking in the surging waves of our magnificent coastline, or the evocative interior landscape of hills and valleys, Monterey County is a wonderful bit of paradise.