Cultural Stowaways: A Different Horizon
My two years in Peru were surrounded by mountains. I lived in the Andes. Between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra. It was epically beautiful to have such towering mountains on all sides of me every single day. They were always the highest things. The sun and moon would always set and rise behind them. My horizon was greatly diminished in distance because of how close I was living to the mountains.
I have noticed that I grew accustom to having mountains as my horizon. I grew accustom to it so much that being back in a part of the US where the horizon is either the ocean or a valley or a giant city feels really strange. It’s actually quite difficult to explain. It’s almost like a spatial disorganization. Or a spatial, sort of out of place, sort of lost feeling.
Driving along in my car or on my bike I find myself looking up. Gazing at the horizon, almost expectantly, looking for the mountains, waiting for them to pop out behind the buildings and city smog. But they never do. At least not to the same magnitude of the Andes.
I miss the mountains and all that comes with them. The good news is that here in California I am not too far from the Santa Monica Mountains or the Sierra Nevadas. I feel very happy and lucky and privileged to be living where I am. So close to the ocean. And so close to the mountains. It’s an excellent combo.