“Homesickness is a great teacher. It taught me, during an endless rainy fall, that I came from the arid lands and liked where I came from. I was used to a dry clarity and sharpness in the air. I was used to horizons that either lifted into jagged ranges or rimmed the geometrical circle of the flat world. I was used to seeing a long way. I was used to earth colors–tan, rusty red, toned white–and the endless green of Iowa offended me. I was used to a sun that came up over mountains and went down behind other mountains. I missed the color and smell of sagebrush and the sight of bare ground.”

Wallace Stegner, from the essay collection Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West. (The title’s from the Big Rock Candy Mountain song!)