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