Today is one of those excellent January partly cloudies in which light chooses an unexpected part of the landscape to trick out in gilt, and then shadow sweeps it away. You know you're alive. You take huge steps, trying to feel the planet's roundness arc between your feet.
- another from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
I've been staying at my Gramaw's house for a week, helping to take care of her in her last days this side of eternity. She has someone to come out and be with her during the day, so I've been subbing and tutoring some at the school where my Grandad, Dad, Uncle, Aunt, and cousins went to school. I've been doing mostly high school math, which is fun because I get to remember all that math I've forgotten how to do in the past four years of teaching English.
I've always loved coming out here to the cotton farm, mostly because it was when I got to be with my four girl cousins who are more like sisters than cousins. We loved being together so much that they would try to hide from my parents in our car as we left to go back to Abilene. The idea was that they would reveal themselves about halfway home when it would be too late for my parents to drive all the way back. We never really had the courage to make it that far, though. Usually before we got off the dirt roads, one of us would break out in laughter and blow their cover.
Now I still love to come out, to be with family and enjoy the stillness, the cotton fields that go on forever - to the edge of the horizon, at least. From my Gramaw's front porch, you can watch the sunrise every day of the year if you want to and from the back porch, you can watch the sunset. The beauty of West Texas is its simplicity, the nothingness that makes you notice everything. Sometimes I think I could actually see the roundness of the earth as I look out on the horizon.