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Treeline, Rollins Savanna


Here is a painting I completed last fall.  As you know, I’m very partial to this former farm which has been saved from development.  Just think~it could have been acres of beige mcmansions and pavement.

I’ve been reading that more and more people are becoming disenchanted with the suburb, and are returning to the city.  This is wonderful news for cities, and pretty good news for the environment.  People are bringing with them new ideas about local food, green roofs, even chickens in the heart of the city!  To me, that is indeed heartening.  

Perhaps some of that innovation can be introduced to the suburbs as well.  All we need is a paradigm shift, and suddenly those ugly and mostly empty strip malls could become community centers, local markets, stuff like that.  My father, who has spent large chunks of his life living in other countries, tells how people live in neighborhoods where one can walk to a grocery store, a dry cleaner, a library.  My nearest coffee shop is 8 miles away, on roads only a desperate coffee addict would risk on foot or by bicycle.  How did we forget to put ourselves, our human selves, into the equation when we were building these so -called communities so many of us live in?

I feel so lucky to live where nature preserves are a priority.  That is a huge blessing.  But every other part of this county has lost its soul.  Do you suppose that is why people are rude and angry?  I understand there is now a degree a person can get, called “community planning”.  That sounds promising, doesn’t it?

9 thoughts on “Treeline, Rollins Savanna

  1. I always find it so sad when taking long road trips and we drive through mile after mile of suburbs that look just like the ones we saw a hundred miles down the road. Everything looks the same: ugly and soul-less. Even sadder are the small towns that are ringed by loops and bypasses with the same old fast food joints as the next town over, and yet both have lovely old town centers that are abandoned and decaying.

    I live in a large city, yet love the sense of community my section has fostered. We live in a renovated old home two blocks from coffee houses, small bars, and small grocery stores, and I try to keep things as local as I can. It isn’t easy, especially when developers and people wanting to move back into the city come in and tear down the historic old homes to put up huge McMansions that stick out like a sore thumb.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Oh I know~those road trips have changed, haven’t they? The town I live in used to have a historic downtown, the classic Main Street. We had a library, a hardware store, a coffee shop, post office, and a small grocery store. Now they are all yuppie bars and a liquor store. Tragic.

      1. The small town my folks are from used to have a thriving main street with small shops and street dances in the summer. Now it’s all boarded up and dilapidated, and everyone shops at the new Walmart. There used to be three grocery stores; now there’s one, and everyone complains about the high prices. And there are no vegetable gardens anywhere. So sad.

  2. I grew up in a suburb, and will consequently never live in one – the isolation and uniformity for me (even though we had open countryside a few minutes away and a large village a few minutes in the other direction) is simply too much. I live din cities – London and Manchester and loved them for their sheer life. I now live in a large seaside town and love it – I can walk pretty much anywhere I like, have access to shops, bars and transport. Perfect when coupled with a thriving community. The only place I’ve never lived is the countryside….. I often wonder how I’d fare!?

    1. Hi Claire! So good to hear from you.
      Your large seaside town sounds lovely! I’m a country mouse at heart, but I do sometimes feel the tug of a charming town.

  3. I like the painting. So, I clicked on it. Wow! It is large and detailed. Nice. How big is it?

    We live up the hill from the Fox River in St. Charles, IL until 1992. At that time, the area west of town was still farmland. I enjoyed bike rides into the country and along the Fox. That area is mall-to-mall now. I’m glad we got out.

  4. Hi Jim,
    Wow, cool, I didn’t know it would do that! I’m so glad you enjoyed the painting. It measures about 18″x30″, as I recall.
    Oh, yes, that area in St. Charles was so beautiful. I’m planning to escape at the end of this year, fingers crossed!
    So good to hear from you. 🙂

  5. That’s a lovely panoramic sylvan view of autumn.

  6. Thank you, Steve 🙂
    I appreciate you stopping by, and am grateful for the breath of spring you’ve been sharing with those of us still buried in snow!

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