Above the Meadows, In Dreams

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I remember Texas fondly.

There are the endless, bluer than blue skies that stretch across the northern part of the state, rarely interrupted by so much as a little white cloud. The sky seems bigger overhead. For hundreds of miles there are no natural borders; no mountains, no valleys, no nothing. There is a sense of openness about the country because there are no physical limits, of brightness because the sun always shines, and of freedom because no rules could ever truly penetrate this vastness. It almost cannot be captured in words. The feeling of Texas has to be experienced to be understood.

The streets are wide and expansive, allowing every driver as much room as he or she desires. Even in rush hour times, there is only little constraint even in the most populous areas. It never feels like a car could get squished in-between trucks or the large eighteen-wheelers carrying goods across the country. There is never any feeling of being cramped. Drivers do not hurry, and there is enough space to move on at a leisurely pace.

Most of the time, there is a lazy breeze stirring the air from its slumber, lifting the otherwise oppressive heat to bearable measures. It helps ease human breathing and it tousles hair and clothing like a lover’s caress. The softest wind is almost like a whisper, a reminder that there is ease to even the most oppressive climate, a reminder that not everything is quite as bad as it looks upon first glance. Whenever the wind picks up, the rawness of the elements becomes a reminder of the openness of the country, of its vulnerability and its fragility in the face of the elements.

When a storm comes, it takes without preamble and without apology. It drives people to seek shelter and it consumes everything. Lightning chases bolt after bolt after bolt across the endless sky, but it is the thunderous clap of weather systems colliding that reminds you that there is nothing around to stop the storm from hitting wherever it pleases. Texas thunderstorms are scary and overwhelming because they could easily develop into the deadliest of tornadoes, but they are also awe-inspiringly beautiful in their strength and unapologetic immensity. There is nothing like a thunderstorm rolling in, stopping the world in its tracks, turning day into night in a matter of minutes, crashing and falling and hitting with the mighty fist of nature, and then departing just as quickly. The skies return to their bluer than blue beauty, even more so now that the air has been cleaned and the world has been righted again.