This question is on the meaning of "à travers" in this sentence from L'Étranger by Camus.
À travers les lignes de cyprès qui menaient aux collines près du ciel, cette terre rousse et verte, ces maisons rares et bien dessinées, je comprenais maman.
In this dictionary, "à travers" gets a meaning of spatial penetration (such as in "regarder tomber la neige à travers la fenêtre") while "au travers de" is said to mean both "through" and "by means of."
But in the sentence, I cannot imagine a spatial penetration through the cypress trees, the red and green earth or the houses. (Meursault does not have Superman's X-ray vision, nor is he going bodily through the earth.)
English translators substitute another spatial/physical relation: "looking at."
Does "à travers" have a second spatial meaning of "facing"?
Or am I okay to understand the following: "à travers" in the sentence has no spatial meaning, but simply means "by means of." The English translators are themselves supplying the notion of "looking," just from the fact that trees and houses are the sort of things one typically looks at. Strictly speaking the sentence itself says nothing about Meursault "looking at" or "facing" anything. For all that the sentence said, he could have felt the trees, tasted the earth, and lived in the houses and "by such means" come to understand maman.
(I want to thank in advance each person who may give me an answer. The site managers seem to discourage leaving comments just to say thank you.)