Touching the Land

It felt silly when when the idea came out of my mouth years ago. When asked about my life dreams, I looked to the ceiling and tried to put words to it. The image in my mind was of Denver’s front range, and the dream was to interact with those mountains. My tool of choice at the time was a snowboard. But I wanted to somehow take in the whole range, a fairly impossible dream.

But the thread was there, the call to interact with the land, with beauty.

Beauty draws us in. Maybe this is why my wife, walking through a clothing aisle, has the impulse to touch each garment. Or why our whole family finds itself humming when particular songs come on the speaker.

This, too, is why I run or ski (and why I write haiku about it). And I think I’m not alone.

“Sketching, like skiing, can pull you into a place.”

– Max Romey

Max Romey released a neat and inspiring video about his twin loves of skiing and sketching. As a fan of athletics-meets-art, I immediately connected, and enjoyed his perspective on his experiences. He comes to a similar conclusion about the importance of art, travel, and connection: “It wasn’t about filling in the blank spaces, it was about connecting with them.” Check it out.

“Winter doesn’t cover up the landscape, it just highlights all the little amazing pieces.”

– Max Romey

He goes on to unravel some of the mysterious beauty of a winter landscape, which is unmatched in its simplicity and ability to consolidate the landscape into its elements, and create incredible, albeit temporary, scenes. Even a boring drive across a prairie landscape in winter can cause a sort of silent awe to settle into observers as they pick out the telephone poles sticking up out of the snow, or a lonely tree, or, if you’re lucky, as we were last week, a snowy owl.

Winter wind
Chasing white wisps
Across the plain

RunHaiku, March 11, 2022

How do you interact with the land?