Back to books briefly . . . a new book recently caught my attention at the bookstore. Yes, I live in a place where there is still a bookstore. It’s called Zen of the Plains – Experiencing Wild Western Places by Tyra Olstad. The book is about one woman’s travels and adventures in the open spaces of the West. She recalls her first sense of this when she was just a youngster traveling with her dad in Nebraska:
“No, what I remember best is the feel of space in Scottsbluff – the simple sweep of the horizon; the rich color of the air. My first glimpse of Zen out on the plains.”
Despite being an easterner by birth, Olstad spent many years in various places around the West following that initial trip to Nebraska. She is a good writer with an enthusiasm as boundless as the plains she writes about. It seems as if she wants to jump off the page, grab you by the face, and make you see what she sees. She wants people to stop and appreciate the plains for their own vastness and beauty – for their own sake, and not as something to pass through on your way to someplace else.
Come to think of it, I can relate. Well done Tyra!