Thursday, May 28, 2015

Texas

I hadn't been to Texas in the summertime in ages. I've smartly taken the opportunity to spend my summers in drier or cooler climates for the last 5 years...so when I received permission  to hop a flight or two to my soggy state, I jumped at the opportunity.
The first thing I noticed upon stepping from the airport was the warm hug that the air in Texas gives you when you arrive. Driving back from the airport in my Dad's car, surveying the flooding beneath the orange mammatus clouds, I felt a lot of things. Many emotions were swirling through my body the way the tornadoes had swirled through the skies just hours before: Stress melting away from months of hard work, sadness unfolding from unreciprocated intentions, loss from leaving friends and changing relationships, and hope for reconnecting and renewal.


I stood in the backyard amongst a graying orange sky and felt the air against my skin. The crickets were chirping heavily in the dark green grass, and birds still twitted from within the deep green leaves. It felt so familiar and so far removed. Here I am.
I remembered right away how nice it is to have a fan blowing the warm air around. Later on I noticed how much condensation forms on the sides of glasses here, and how quickly ice cubes melt. I quickly remembered the sticky sensation after a shower, and felt the perpetual sweat I had longed for on chilly nights in the desert.
I had forgotten how alive it is here in this Texan tropic. Having lived amongst the fence lizards and road runners for years, with the sky offering the greatest variety in species (in cloud variations), I had forgotten the abundance of life here in Texas. On this short trip, I have explored these environments from the eyes of my cat, counting endless bird calls and being stalked by squirrels. I smelled the rich vanilla scent of a budding magnolia tree, and marveled at the helicopter-like form of a mosquito-like species. I've walked to old favorite hiding spots and surveyed new creeks where there had previously only been rocks.
I went to a bar downtown and achieved my dream of existing in a tank top after the sun set. It felt wrong to not bring a jacket, but it felt so right to drive home with the ac just gently blowing.
I've sat in traffic, identified new condominiums and heard about rent prices skyrocketing. And despite all the emotions I'm pontificating on my travels, I've considered the sustainability of living here.
People have asked me how I can justify living in a desert as an environmentalist. The answer is far from simple, and I think I'll be discovering pieces to it for a long time. What I've remembered from watching the growth of this beautiful city since I've been here is that there are ways to live sustainably in almost every environment. Often they require compromises on certain luxuries, or even what people think are basic rights- like daily showers and access to hot food. But so much can be shifted with a change in mind, I've learned.
As much as I've enjoyed remembering my favorite pieces of this climate, the pleasure I have of my life in Albuquerque has been strengthened. No traffic, bike routes, work that I love. I am so thankul, so so grateful for my present situation.
In feeling the warm embrace of this state, I am filled with so many memories. It is warm here and comforting. And yet, it is stifling. It is strange to sit back in a place that I have spent years moving away from. I have had many thoughts and much reflection time on my visit back home, but most of them reminded me of being a 17 year old angsty and artful teenager. I'm ready to return to my world as a 27 year old and make some new memories.
Everytime I leave Texas I feel a longing to come back. And everytime I return my desires here are less fulfilled. I think it's time to spread my wings from this great state and ride the wind to the next adventure.

Thanks, Texas. <3


2 comments:

  1. There is so much truth and honesty in this blog, and though it stings a little, it is the way of nature and life. (And, oh to be your age again, with so many choices and possibilities!) We can all relate and understand, and, you write it so beautifully that I am so very proud. <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS - your photos are wonderful too!

    ReplyDelete