I was 17 years old.
那時我17歲。

Along with a dozen other boys
與十幾個男孩子一道

I had made a long trip to Iowa
我們長途旅行到了愛荷華州

in order to see a college
想去瞻仰一下那里的一所大學

that I was thinking of attending.
那時我正考慮報考這所學校

While the trip had been fun for the most part,
旅行的大部分時間都十分愉快

now that I was there I was feeling depressed, alone, and isolated .
后來,我忽然感到有些消沉,覺得自己煢煢孑立,孤立無援。?

I was missing my family
我開始想念親人

and was realizing that
并且開始意識到

I wouldn't be seeing them very much if I went to school here.
如果我來這里讀書,就不能時常與家人見面了

I was also missing the Appalachian mountains of my home.
我還十分想念環繞家鄉的阿巴拉契亞山脈

I loved walking in their forests
我喜愛在山上的密林間散步,

of Maple, Oak, Beech, Birch, and Hickory trees.
那里樹木叢生,有槭楓樹,橡樹,山毛櫸,還有山胡桃。

I loved how the leaves turned a thousand shades of green in the Spring
我喜愛看著那些樹葉在春天變幻出上千種不同的綠色?

and then became an sea of red, gold, and orange in the Fall.
到了秋天,他們又會變成紅色,金色,橙色交融的小小海洋。

I loved the smell of the Clover and countless wild flowers that grew in our [en]meadows.
我喜愛林間的香氣,有四葉草的香味,還有長在草叢中的數不清的野花的香氣

These things were a part of me.
這些東西都已經成為我的一部分

Here in Iowa everything was flat.
而在愛荷華州,平原一覽無余

The grass looked burnt and brown.
草木焦黑枯黃

All that I could smell was a mixture of corn, mud, and pigs.
我只能聞到玉米,泥巴和豬身上的氣味混合的味道

I walked outside the dormitory of the college
我從大學的宿舍里走出來

and sat on an old stump .
坐在一截老樹樁上

I closed my eyes
我閉上眼睛

and dreamed of being back home again.
幻想著自己已經回到了家中

When I finally opened them,
久久的,當我再次睜開眼睛的時候

however, I saw something that touched my soul.
我卻看到了一幕觸及靈魂的畫面?

It was a Prairie Sunset.
那是北美平原上的落日

It seemed to fill the sky from horizon to horizon.
鋪天蓋日,無邊無涯

Gold, red, purple and pink clouds all flowed together in a picture.
金色,紅色,紫色和粉色的彩云相互交融,組成一幅瑰麗的畫卷

It was so huge that it took my breath away.
如此浩瀚,我不禁屏住了呼吸

It made our mountain sunsets seem tiny by comparison.
想必之下,我家鄉那群山中的落日景觀竟顯得小器

I was filled with wonder and speciality.
如此令人震撼,如此獨一無二

I realized too that I had been foolish and judgmental.
我也終于意識到,自己多么愚蠢,又多么懷有偏見

This place too had its own special beauty.
這個地方,也有它獨特的美麗啊

This place too was a part of nature's Creation.
這里同樣是自然母親的杰出作品

Over the years to come I learned something else.
多年之后,我還學會了另外一件事

Each of us has a special beauty as well.
我們每個人都有自己獨一無二的風景

Each of us has our own unique talents and abilities.
我們每個人都有自己獨特的天賦和才能

Each of us has a beautiful, powerful love that only we can share.
我們每個人都懷有美好而強大的愛,只有自己才能將它分享出去

And the world needs us to share it.
世界需要我們將這愛意分享出去

May you always do so then.
所以,愿你時常分享你的愛

May your life always shine bright.
愿你的生活總是陽光燦爛

And may your love glow from your soul like a sunset on the Prairie .
愿你靈魂中的愛光輝閃耀,就像北美平原的落日那樣。