I’ve always thought I lived in beautiful places. The area of northern Idaho I grew up in is full of rolling hills that are green in the spring and golden in the summer and fall. And then, as if that wasn’t beautiful enough, I went to college and worked my first job in Santa Barbara, meaning that I got to spend the next nine years in a city with mountains on one side and ocean and islands on the other. I’m a littler farther south now, in an area that’s drier and browner (now that summer is in full swing, at least) and not what I would immediately think to describe as a beautiful place. Not because it’s not, but because I’m used to a different sort of pretty.
But then I catch a glimpse of a desert sunset, the sort that covers everything in a wash of gold, the sort that somehow seems more vibrant when the first whisper of a cooler breeze come through, the sort that’s nothing like what I grew up with. And it’s incredible.