Saturday, May 01, 2010

Things you forget, living in California

Damn, Texas -- I forgot how beautiful you are this time of year.

You guys, I'm in the Olde Hometowne for a few days with Kid Gleemonex, visiting the fam, and it's been about 12 years since I was here in any season other than the brown/gray/black dead of winter (xmas/Thanksgiving) or the bakey bakey height of summer (late July), and I gotta tell you guys, it's so lovely that it's hurting my heart. Everything is lush and green and overgrown, monstrous almost; it's cool in the mornings but warms right up into a definitely-wear-shorts low-80s for most of the day; the ponds and lakes and creeks are full, the birds are out, the unshaded spaces don't belong to the wasps yet, and the wildflowers -- oh, the wildflowers! I went for a run this morning, six and a half miles out the single-lane road past the cemetery where most of the departed members of my family are buried (a place right now so full of bluebonnets and silence and peace that the phrase "eternal rest" actually makes sense to me, here as nowhere else), and everywhere I looked there were vast carpets of Indian paintbrush, pockets of winecups, mingled stands of Indian blanket and black-eyed Susans, hillsides strewn with pink evening primroses among the tender green of the waving grasses. I saw an actual roadrunner, was accompanied for a quarter mile by a friendly old shaggy dog, could have gone forever breathing in the wonderful smells of late spring -- honeysuckle, fresh air, leaves and water and new life everywhere.

I remember now that this time doesn't last -- it gets more intense for a couple more weeks, then starts to lose ground to the sun's absolute relentlessness. The wildflowers disappear, the grass dies, the leaves turn dark and curl up, waiting for rain, the birds and small creatures retreat to whatever shade they can find, the earth itself gets hot and gives off heat from below. It gets dusty, sweaty, breathless, hard to move around in. And it stays like that for a long, long time.

But for a short while, just before the brink of summer, it is glorious. Glorious.

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Blogger francine said...

we were just saying the same thing today. it's getting hotter each day but we've had so much rain that the flowers are out everywhere and i haven't seen this many bluebonnets since i was in elementary school and we're just enjoying it one day at a time until the humidity and mosquitos and water rationing hit in a few months. tossing back some ziegenbocks doesn't hurt either.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous JenN said...

I would like to live in the south (Texas, La., Ala., etc.) in the spring and late fall. Then I would move back to Minnesota for the summer, and then in the winter ... maybe I would just sleep through the winter.

8:53 AM  
Blogger HHL said...

awesome. i was thinking the same thing the other morning.

1:16 PM  

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