Monday, 19 August 2013

Holiday blog: The world is flat, isn't it?


It is, pretty much, in Ontario, certainly around Orillia.

I find the landscape quite unnerving in a way - though more than made up for by the lovely people here. Absolutely. Generous and welcoming folks.

You'd have thought that endless miles and miles of flatness with perfectly straight roads would give a sense of space and freedom. Perhaps space, yes, but space that gives the impression you're getting nowhere slowly and there's nowhere to go, no friendly landmarks to punctuate the journey, nothing contained within the reassuring arms of Mother Nature, for here she has no arms, only a vast expanse of skin, fuzzy green with grassland, corn fields and cabbages.

Even the trains are long and flat. A train passes a road crossing and you stop. And you wait. And still it goes by. And you complete the Times Crossword, and knit a Fair Isle sweater, and compose a couple of symphonies, and glance up, and, oh, there goes another carriage, trundling by - and if you're really lucky you meet the same train at the next crossing.

I feel a sort of...I suppose you could call it agoraphobia? Not exactly FEAR of open spaces but just a desire for contours and being enclosed by nature, not dwarfed by it.