|Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia Leucantha) in front of the Huntington Art Gallery|
I read Zane Grey's classic Western novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, when I was little more than a child. I had no clue as to how purple sage actually looked, but my imagination was more than willing to envision a landscape painted every shade from puce to periwinkle.
As I grew older and began to draw botanical studies, I finally came across "purple sage" in the form of Mexican Bush Sage. It was a shocking experience because, as a native of Southern California, I had been living amongst it for most of my life!!! It wasn't some mythic flora from the remote wastelands of Utah; it was in my neighbor's front yard!
So, whenever I come across a beautiful display of Mexican Bush Sage, it always takes me back to both the whimsy of youth and that moment of revelation where the legendary is recognized in the quotidian.
|Close view of Mexican Bush Sage|
But, just because the purple sage has become a commonplace object, doesn't mean that it has lost its place within my imagination. If anything, having a firm mental image of the sage brings greater depths to my mental meanderings. ;-)
Sometimes, the everyday world has more beauty than even the greatest of artists can imagine.
|Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia Leucantha)|
Here are a couple vids.
New Riders of the Purple Sage, "Garden of Eden" (1971)