We’d traveled into north Texas when the green mileage marker popped up.
The road trip that day promised a long journey, another seven hours. I turned to DH and teased, “You game?” He smiled, nodded.
One left turn and eight miles later, we arrived at our new destination.
We eyeballed the terrain. Nothing: no cars, no animals, no buildings, no people.
To visitors, such a sight spooks.
To a native, it’s heaven, a reminder of similar landscapes, e.g., the Texas Panhandle where I grew up.
It saddens me that so many fail to see the beauty of these flatlands. Here, you can slow down and catch your breath. Tech devices don’t work well. Distraction dissolves.
What follows? A thanks offering for simplicity and clarity, for clean, pure lines where earth meets sky meets river. Hard to see it but there is water flowing in the Red River here:
Look up, in the center of the blue sky, can you see the surprise?
The tiny circle of the moon snagged me, too. How many times have I missed such clear vision?
The moon hovering sweetens the moment. Overwhelm descends. Earth’s only natural satellite transmutes a spontaneous side trip into holy encounter. Indeed.
Wikipedia informs that we’re viewing what’s technically called the Red River of the South. One of the few American state borders so created, the waterway meanders across/around/through four states, feeding eventually into the mighty Mississippi.
We sigh, make a u‑turn, and head back toward home.
Texas awaits. So does a second gasp:
How did we miss this house? Abandoned or not, it’s the only structure around.
This sight at this moment? A two-fer?
We both do more than pause. We pull over and stop, both silent in a second holy encounter. I wonder: does this bustling city girl need more slow-down encounters like these? Is this pandemic self-care or something bigger?
I swallow and look up.
Past the house, the land flattens to familiar terrain. Beyond the sign of my home state, I spot Home.
Over there. Around that curve. After a looong afternoon drive. Oddly grateful there’s no eerie ahead, I comprehend. Now I can breathe and drive. Easy.
The straight lines of the Texas state marker offer comfort. I know this place. It’s where I belong, for now.
The tight green rectangle screams precision. The two poles beneath radiate strength. Both offer comfort, valued in these times.
Translating, I understand these as guideposts, each offering a pathway to home. All roads do, but today’s messengers brought intensity in different form: two states, multiple shapes (circles, lines, borders), varying forms (earth, water, sky), and changing landscapes (flat versus rolling terrain).
Then I connect. These are messages from my recent existence.
I take the sights and their messages in hand — from this latest little diversion — and put my foot on the gas, heading south to home.
I’ll figure out — precisely — what it all means.