The West. A deep breath of dry cool air.

We topped a small rise in western Kansas in Turtle. Morning light cast our shadow down a long straight road ahead of us. The colors were intense, the air sparkled, the land rolled off in wheat stubble and stone fence posts to a horizon uncut by haze. A railroad track led to a lone grain elevator. I took an involuntary deep breath; a gasp almost, of clean dry air. It’s been months since I’ve been able to see that far, months since the air was so clear, blue and white and wheat color, chocolate loam, the sky so big, so big.

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