Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday arboretum

A few weekends ago Andrea and I went for a Sunday drive (or scoot) off into the somewhat hinter-lands to the north-east of Tainan. We hadn't planned to go any where (intentional separation of "any" and "where") in particular but were just looking to get away from Tainan and hopefully find some nice greenery. Living in Tainan, it can take a while to get to anything like a natural, forested area.

What we did eventually find was an arboretum of sorts.

From Arboretum, Origin: 1830–40; < class="ital-inline">arborētum a plantation of trees, equiv. to arbor tree + -ētum suffix denoting place where a given plant grows.
Sometimes we both feel the lack of hills and forests as we spend most of our time living in Tainan which is flat and lacking in significant areas of natural forest of bushland. Perhaps it's just us, both being from small towns with the forest close by, but sometimes you just need to be surrounded by trees in a natural landscape. It's good for the soul. I read a book called The Power of Place by Winnifred Gallagher and I remember that she cited research conducted in different cultures and countries aimed at investigating what kind of landscape people are most comfortable and happy in. It seemed to be universally true that what everyone needed was blue skies, green belts, and a bit of water. And now let's see how close my paraphrase was to the actual point she was making.

From The Power of Place by Winnifred Gallagher: Research shows that people in many different cultures have what looks like an innate preference for landscapes made up of a meadow, some woods, and a body of water - in short, the African savannah where we evolved.

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