The Return Trip

I drove away from Corpus Christi.  The gray morning hung before me, heavy with fog.  At my first opportunity I cut from I-37, away from my view of brake lights and mudflaps.  I breathed out and relaxed as I left the the interstate in my rear-view.  I would take the country roads through small towns and fields, stark mesquite thickets and broken down trailer parks, shuttered roadhouses and slowly twirling windmills.

sketch by David Borden of a small country store
"Hwy 359" (c) 2014 David Borden
The plowed winter fields of van dyke brown were sprinkled with clay clods that made the earth look like a finely combed chocolate cupcake with crushed peanut sprinkles.  The land faded into the fog and the sky melted.  A mobile irrigation machine stretched on the horizon like the ghost skeleton of a prehistoric sea-monster.  The nude, twisted elm trees sped by on one side, the leaning telephone poles on the other.

Past the Beeville cut off, through Skidmore, slowed in the boom town traffic of Kenedy whose narrow streets were choked with trucks spattered with a heavy patina of dried mud.  The whole town was torn up and under construction.  Everything was bathed in caliche's creamy butter.  On the outskirts the stench of gas and a sign:  "Frac water for free" and I did not know if it was some local's attempt at sarcasm or if I could really fill up my water bottle.

Near Seguin, the sun punctured the gray; a swath of bare elm, their fine canopies of capillary thin filaments glowed white against the dark sky.  I thought about the light as it shown down for the first time all day through an enormous hole in the cloud ceiling.  I pondered the nature of light on this day so conspicuously missing its presence:  Is it a particle behaving like a wave, or is it a wave that acts like a particle?  And what about me, slipping down this road in my tiny, blue capsule, warm from the floorboards, lulled by the engine's vibrations?  Am I pushing through these clouds, placing a spotlight for an instant, then vanishing again into the gray haze?

#rural #Texas #sketchbook #drawing #meditation #joy #Frac #country #countryroad


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