Learning Texas

021015The day I moved to Austin with a U-Haul full of books and used furniture, the temperature hit 104 degrees. That first fall I kept waiting for rain, my life having been spent on the east coast and the damp Ohio River Valley. The skies were perpetual blue for a month, two. I was new here. I wondered at the ancient seashells embedded in the limestone, the live oaks holding their leaves through winter. One early spring I walked my neighborhood noting and working to name the flowers, the bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush. My friends had sent news of their new son and I was humming with happiness, everything in bloom. Today that boy is quickly becoming a man, two boys have followed him, and the news from those friends is harder. A surgery, a fight. I gather up my prayers as the spring approaches. And after work I pull to the side of the road at the sight of primrose jasmine. In large bushes and trailing cascades, it still blooms.

February 10, 2015

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