Although the poem doesn’t have a single, concrete setting, the speaker makes numerous references to wild landscapes. Taken together, these references conjure a generalized image of the natural world, which could be understood as the poem’s ideal setting. Notably, the speaker emphasizes some natural landscapes at the expense of others. In lines 2–3, for instance, they refer to a desert in rather unflattering terms: “You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” Here, the speaker frames the desert as a symbolic landscape of suffering and self-contempt. We readers should avoid this kind of environment and instead pursue lusher, greener landscapes that are more obviously full of life. In lines 8–11, the speaker draws our attention to several sun-drenched and rain-soaked landscapes: prairies, mountains, and rivers. These are the landscapes that call us readers home, “over and over announcing [our] place / in the family of things” (lines 17–18). In contrast with the barren desert, which is an environment best suited for existential turmoil, these lush prairie and mountain landscapes provide vital spaces for solace, healing, and resilience.