The Palouse

I was born in the desert, where nothing seems subtle (but it is, if you take the time to get acquainted). You can see the weather from miles away – I knew at lunchtime if the evening would be rainy or clear. The mountains are abrupt, like beginning salesmen; they appear in the middle of nowhere, without so much as a hello or a foothill. The sunsets came out of my Crayola box – Fire Orange and Hot Pink and Midnight Purple. Those colors aren't supposed to show up in real life.

But I didn't appreciate it at the time; I pined for Ireland. The idea of green hills, rolling upward and onward into a gently raining sky was entrancing. To a child of the dry sagebrush, lush grass and cool rain seemed like heaven.

I haven't ever been to Ireland, but I've found the land I dreamed of anyway. In a little corner of the northwest, where Idaho bumps into Washington and Oregon, there are rolling hills so green with wheat that it takes my breath away every day. You only have to drive five minutes in any direction to arrive at the edge of town, and another five minutes will take you to where you can only see fields.

I wrote this this summer, and haven't had time to polish it or put an ending on; still, it's time for something other than sports or politics to make an appearance in this space, so here you are.

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