My sister in law was here recently. I admire her love of prairie scenery and her interest in the eco-systems out here. Well, she is a biologist.....
I am attempting to learn from her enthusiasm for all things prairie, but am struggling desperately to figure out the local scenery and what she is so excited about. When she points out the golden prairie landscape I am ashamed to admit that it all looks brown to me. I see light brown and dark brown and reddish brown....brown, brown, brown.....broken only by the highways, (grey brown) and gravel roads (mottled pebbly brown), and ancient dilapidated graineries (blackmoldy brown) and tumbledown barns (weathered peeling red paint brown) and the caving in rooves of abandoned out-buildings (sparkly greeny brown). What is wrong with me??? She points out the rolling waves of grain during harvest and I see rolling waves of flat beige brown all the way to the horizon far in the distance.........the depression I feel from gazing on that much brown year after year is overwhelming sometimes. To look that far into the distance and see nothing but flat fields of grain, not so much as a tiny tree waving its limbs feebly up to the sky to break the monotony, is about as depressing a scenic vision as I can summon.
When my husband and I first came to the Saskatchewan prairies for seminary I had occasion one weekend to take a Greyhound bus back to Calgary to visit family. The trip was a "milk run" of over 10 hours. It was after harvest, after autumn field work was completed, and thus was my first experience of prairie browns. I experienced 10 hours of the above described scenery. The last straw for me was that the upholstery on the bus seats was also brown, a deep chocolate brown. Sigh....there was no escaping it even on a trip west.
Brown in all its varied nuances has been a part of my daily life for about 7 years now. Ask me anything you want to know about shades of brown........surely I will know the answer..........dear sister in law, I bow before your unshared abilties for appreciation of scenery that has no moutains, no ferns, no giant fir trees, nary a cherry blossom. You are amazing!