Freezing nights, blazing fires, and the ones I hold closest to my heart: the key ingredients for epic tales of the past, present, and future to be spun on the shores of our beloved lake Travis, deep within the heart of Texas. Our innocent, sweet laughter crackled like the amber firewood that we huddled around and our futures shined brighter than those big Texas stars above. This would be the last time for a long time, we would enjoy those southern nights under the moonlight together. Times were changing and we could not escape it any longer. Soon enough we would all be in different states for different educations, and nothing would be the same. I believed I was moving on to bigger, and better things; however, I never thought that the biggest, best thing was right under my feet the whole time.
After two winters in Colorado I had begun to miss a ground covered in a color beyond white; a ground washed in a vibrant array of bluebonnets, and indian paintbrush. The insistent shivering freeze and wailing winds that haunted me as a walked from door to door made me wonder what a warm “howdy” from a friendly stranger even sounded like. The sweet, rich smells of BBQ slowly slipped from memory. Even the blistering heat I had desperately tried to escape, lingered just long enough in my mind to reminisce on how good I had it. Nothing could have ever compared to how much I missed Texas; yet, the moment I finally crossed the New Mexico-Texas border I still felt an absence. What could it be? The sun was blistering, the flowers were blooming, and the Cowboys had won, what more could I want? I realized then that although Texas is where my heart and family homestead resides, the Texans that inhabit this vast, beautiful land are what make it home.