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Lake Amistad, Texas

We drive through the valles and arroyos of west Texas, the flatlands and mesas, the ridges and mountains climbing tall into clear blue sky until the earth flattens and blends again and we reach the border of Mexico.

A fluid thing, sometimes gentle, tossing and turning as if it just cannot sleep. Along the way we stop where the Pecos bleeds into the Rio Grande. A flowing of culture and sediment from the past - and there I stand next to a chain link fence – a fence doing nothing but preventing us from mingling over cocktails.

A light breeze rummages through my hair, I gaze down into the sheerness of the river below and ask - why are we so scared? Scared of the dark. Scared of the unknown. Of the sounds we don’t yet know and have not named. We move on down the road, set camp, sleep, and in the morning haze watch the sun rise over Lake Amistad.

The deadwood and brush are thick here and the dog jumps effortlessly over and ahead as I pick my way through, down a trail only goats dare to go. There was a herd here before, perhaps there still is. The brittle remains of shells litter the ground, small with their repetitive ridging and smooth undersides.

The lake has been down a long time it seems. The ground is dry and hard. The white of it grayed from constant sun. And then there is a house. A house that is no more, surrounded by a loosely stacked limestone wall, pathways overgrown with Bermuda grass.

What is it like to give up your home? To leave the land you nurtured, now overgrown with the wants and needs of today? Lost in time and transgression.

I am no longer appeased by views of the same terrain - by chasing the paths I’ve ridden before. I must move forward, and to move forward you must first remember how.

There are miles between judgement and acceptance. Between criticism and favor. Between the slow and subtle pressing of a thumb until you succumb and it seems impossible to dig yourself out. So I ride until the miles become a countryside. A continent. An ocean apart. And when an entire world is between the before and the now I know I’m home, and I smile. It is hard to keep it off my face in fact.

I am not here for you, you see. The moon calls me into the night and the sun walks with me each morning and between the two there are moments - moments connecting the deep and throaty hum of this earth.

Moments I hold forever in my heart.


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