I fell in love with Texas so long ago that I don’t remember it. It was probably in Galveston, my feet curling into the sand, my fingers groping for seashells, the waves erasing everything before or since. My love developed before I knew how to talk. It was a blind thing, this adoration, the unknowing clasp to the heart of a child who knew of nothing else.
Like all first raptures, it slowly faded.
Until last week. In spending all your time with only yourself and the land in front of you for company, you tend to find the crux of things. I found that I still had a passion for my home of these many years. It just took a change of scenery, a second honeymoon.
I would wind through the back roads in obscure counties and catch sight of craggy rocks of Hill Country and sit dumbstruck at the beauty of the state I call home; the mounds of earth would clothe themselves in graceful, bending wildflowers of ivory, sundrop gold, and plumes of violet and I would be tempted to make myself an alluringly fragrant crown. (I didn’t, couldn’t even, take any pictures of this, not because I didn’t have a camera I could work, which I did, but because you never love a photograph even half as much as you love a half-faded memory.)
Eventually, I felt my heart start to glow and my soul try to escape out of my mouth and experienced that happy terror just before the plunge into the abyss.
That is the only way I know how to describe falling in love.
Love is a distant laughter in the spirit.
It is a wild assault that hushes you to your awakening.
It is a new dawn upon the earth,
A day not yet achieved in your eyes or mine,
But already achieved in its own greater heart.