Discover Prompt 22: Tempo

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.

John Ruskin

On this day — April 22, 2020 — we celebrate 50 years of Earth Day.

Contoured fields in the Palouse

And the tempo with which we interact with Mother Earth speaks to our own sense of how we like to interface with the earth as we know it. Some love a fast pace — cycling though byways, hiking national parks, zip lining through forests and preserves. But earth at a slower pace appeals to many as a time to take long walks, look more closely at a leaf, or drive through sparsely populated areas appreciating the landscape.

From 2015- 2017, I worked full time providing professional development for schools in various parts of the U. S. One day, after working with a group of teachers in Lewiston, Idaho, and mentioning that I love to travel, one of the participants approached me with a recommendation I’ll never forget: “Before you fly home, you should drive through the Palouse. It’s a region known for producing wheat, canola, lentils, mustard and other grains — one of the largest in the U. S. You’ll be out there, almost alone, driving through some of the prettiest country anywhere.”

So, I took that teacher’s advice and drove through the Palouse in the area around Moscow, Idaho, but also through parts that stretched into Washington. And not just once did I make that drive — but every time I visited the region. I felt it the first time: the fast pace of working with teachers during the day eased considerably as I drove through acres of farmland dotted with occasional barns and houses and harvesting machines. I looked more intently at the landscape. I felt content as I drove. And I was happy to be alone with this beauty.

Occasionally I would pull off the highway onto a farmer’s access road to take pictures of men operating combines or the movement of wheat as the wind blew through the fields or barns with tin roofs glinting in afternoon sun. The slower tempo renewed my love of the earth in its plainest, simplest forms.

With its vast undulating landscape, the Palouse offered me a reprieve from the rush of work days and a chance to recapture the calm that comes with being at one with the earth. I’m eternally grateful to that teacher who took the time to tell me about his world, the world of the Palouse.

Happy Earth Day 2020!

Rusha Sams

This post is one of a series of one-word prompts for April 2020 called Discover Prompts by WordPress. Enjoy!

19 thoughts on “Discover Prompt 22: Tempo

  1. Green Global Trek

    What gorgeous photographs … Love the colors and the feeling these photos evoke of being inside of a painting. Wonderful. The silver lining to corona is how the earth is having a chance to heal and recover itself without humans polluting and abusing it. Best earth day for the earth ever. Every day should be earth day.


    1. Oh, the Places We See

      You are so right: Every day really should earth day. One if the reasons we love traveling is seeing different landscapes and lifestyles. Thanks for commenting. Hope the two of you are safe and happy.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much for visiting our blog. The photos of the Palouse are simple ones reflecting the simple lifestyle and raw beauty of the area. It was great just riding through that unspoiled part of the world and losing ourselves in the vastness of the fields. If you haven’t been there, I hope you get to go. It really is pretty.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks for taking a look at this unspoiled part of America. It really is hauntingly lovely — sort of a lonely place when you get right down to it, but so pristine and unspoiled. Nothing commercial for miles around. Just field after field with an occasional house or barn. I don’t think I could live there, but it’s a beautiful place to drive through.

  2. kzmcb

    You have such a lovely writing tempo. I bet you brought calm and order to a frantic teacher or group. Your skills must be greatly missed, there, but now we get to enjoy them, here.
    Have a peace-filled day.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      That’s one of the kindest things anyone has written on my blog. Thanks so much. I’m pretty passionate about travel because there’s beauty everywhere. I loved teaching, but it’s time for me to try some new things in retirement. I hope we all make it past this pandemic. Thanks again for your kind words.

  3. Mireya

    Wow these photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I love nature! Nature gives us beauty and wonder because she knows how much it hurts to be human. There is something about nature, how it eases me so.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      These photos are about five years old before I had good camera equipment. I’d love to go back and take more photos in early morning and sundown. I was fortunate to see this three times: during planting time, at full maturity, and at harvest. All beautiful!! Thanks for you sweet comments.

      1. Mireya

        Oh reading this now takes me to my road trip from Los Angeles to Boston, I appreciate it more now then at the time.

      2. Oh, the Places We See

        You are fortunate to have had such a trip. It probably seemed long then. And now, you would notice so many things that you didn’t see before. We traveled north from San Francisco almost to Oregon before I had camera equipment or even the urge to take pictures all the time like I do now. What I wouldn’t give to see that part of the country now!

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