I find myself rolling down the windows more, ever since we returned from traveling abroad. It’s as if feeling the wind blowing through my hair will transport me back in time, to some far away land with no stress, no responsibility, and wealth in freedom. And in a way it does.
Ten years ago I moved back to Texas from up North, with all my worldly possessions packed into a rented Buick. Piglet, my first baby, an extra-large ball of chow mix, laid in the front seat next to me, watching as the blue hills of Kentucky trundled before us. Memphis beckoned with pulled pork and ribs, slow roasted in pits for what tasted like days on end. As we crossed the Mississippi River, tears burned my cheeks at the sight of the sun rising behind us, slivers of light bouncing off the fulminating waters. We traversed the Texas state line and I immediately felt it: the comfort of home.
Home where fields of wildflowers decorate highways. Home where cattle graze freely, devouring shades of yellow and brown in the summer heat. Home where Shiner Beers grace dance halls and cowboys strum guitars. Texas: my home.
Now let’s face it: I hardly fit in to the Texas stereotype, with my blue-natured ways. My first pair of flipflops were Birkenstocks, I never even owned boots until about 10 years ago. But when I breathe in the musty, hot air of the Texas countryside, I swoon with daydreams of rugged, shifty, pastured men, drenched in sweat and work from the day. So I roll down the windows.
I turn on the radio, and twist the dial until I find some true Texas country. The pure, raw sound of string guitar, coupled with emotional lyrics, in melodic twists of fate, pound their way from my ears to my delicate soul.
and i will go if you ask me to.
i will stay if you dare.
and if i go i’m goin shameless.
i’ll let my hunger take me there.
The words sting like ghosts from the past. The polarity of wanting to bask in wild, untamed love, yet also wanting to leave. Regardless, the feeling transports me to another time, another decade… another planet. One without responsibilities, stress, and accountability. One without limits, without fear. A world no longer known to me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I begin to hear my daughter ask me to roll down the window, I wonder what memories she will create; what scenes she will associate; smells she will incorporate; memes she will satiate. The best thing I ever did during my reckless days was let the sommelier into my car, into my apartment, and into my life. The hole I felt in my heart for so long, exacerbated by lyrics like those above from Bart Crow, has been stuffed with the most vibrant shades of Rosé, sprouting from deep within the earth, covered in Texan vines under blue skies.
And I am whole again.
And more Texan than ever.
Live well. Drink well.
Linking up this week with Sunday Traveler, go check it out for blogs from all over the world.