I was 17 years old.
那时我17岁。

Along with a dozen other boys
与十几个男孩子一道

I had made a long trip to Iowa
我们长途旅行到了爱荷华州

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

that I was thinking of attending.
那时我正考虑报考这所学校

While the trip had been fun for the most part,
旅行的大部分时间都十分愉快

now that I was there I was feeling depressed, alone, and isolated .
后来,我忽然感到有些消沉,觉得自己茕茕孑立,孤立无援。?

I was missing my family
我开始想念亲人

and was realizing that
并且开始意识到

I wouldn't be seeing them very much if I went to school here.
如果我来这里读书,就不能时常与家人见面了

I was also missing the Appalachian mountains of my home.
我还十分想念环绕家乡的阿巴拉契亚山脉

I loved walking in their forests
我喜爱在山上的密林间散步,

of Maple, Oak, Beech, Birch, and Hickory trees.
那里树木丛生,有槭枫树,橡树,山毛榉,还有山胡桃。

I loved how the leaves turned a thousand shades of green in the Spring
我喜爱看着那些树叶在春天变幻出上千种不同的绿色?

and then became an sea of red, gold, and orange in the Fall.
到了秋天,他们又会变成红色,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.
我喜爱林间的香气,有四叶草的香味,还有长在草丛中的数不清的野花的香气

These things were a part of me.
这些东西都已经成为我的一部分

Here in Iowa everything was flat.
而在爱荷华州,平原一览无余

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

All that I could smell was a mixture of corn, mud, and pigs.
我只能闻到玉米,泥巴和猪身上的气味混合的味道

I walked outside the dormitory of the college
我从大学的宿舍里走出来

and sat on an old stump .
坐在一截老树桩上

I closed my eyes
我闭上眼睛

and dreamed of being back home again.
幻想着自己已经回到了家中

When I finally opened them,
久久的,当我再次睁开眼睛的时候

however, I saw something that touched my soul.
我却看到了一幕触及灵魂的画面?

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.
铺天盖日,无边无涯

Gold, red, purple and pink clouds all flowed together in a picture.
金色,红色,紫色和粉色的彩云相互交融,组成一幅瑰丽的画卷

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,我家乡那群山中的落日景观竟显得小器

I was filled with wonder and speciality.
如此令人震撼,如此独一无二

I realized too that I had been foolish and judgmental.
我也终于意识到,自己多么愚蠢,又多么怀有偏见

This place too had its own special beauty.
这个地方,也有它独特的美丽啊

This place too was a part of nature's Creation.
这里同样是自然母亲的杰出作品

Over the years to come I learned something else.
多年之后,我还学会了另外一件事

Each of us has a special beauty as well.
我们每个人都有自己独一无二的风景

Each of us has our own unique talents and abilities.
我们每个人都有自己独特的天赋和才能

Each of us has a beautiful, powerful love that only we can share.
我们每个人都怀有美好而强大的爱,只有自己才能将它分享出去

And the world needs us to share it.
世界需要我们将这爱意分享出去

May you always do so then.
所以,愿你时常分享你的爱

May your life always shine bright.
愿你的生活总是阳光灿烂

And may your love glow from your soul like a sunset on the Prairie .
愿你灵魂中的爱光辉闪耀,就像北美平原的落日那样。