This, too, is Texas

by CJ

If you can hate Austin whilst eating tacos beneath a shady oak, if your heart stays cold when this verdant city rings with birdsong, if your eyes aren’t dewy at miles and miles of bluebonnets, then maybe Texas aint for you.

I, on the other hand, think it might be right for me.

Okay, I accept that springtime is a blessed time in any part of the world. And yes, I know that soon I’ll be moving my bed into the air conditioning vent. But just for now, please indulge my smugness about being here rather than anywhere else in America.

Why? Because my recent personal dramas have forced me to step out from that comfy place behind my white picket fence. For the first time since I moved to Austin, I’ve thought about weighty things like the kind of society I want to live in and the sort of community I want for my child. Though Rick Perry and his woman-hating lieutenants cast a shameful light upon our whole state, their scornful views are hard to find in the Austin I actually inhabit.

I’ve already waxed liberal about the broad-minded charity of my community when Walter and I made our controversial choice. Never for a moment did I feel judged, despite what Mr Perry might say.

So when I think about the world I want Poppy to grow up in, I want it to be just like the Austin I know now, minus bad politics.

And in everyday life, it’s the small things that matter. It’s the young man at the supermarket checkout who, with handlebar mustache and tragic eyes, educates me about President Bush’s tax cuts. It’s the mums on my neighborhood block who come up with a hundred creative ways to make it safe for us to cross the road into the park. It’s the chic Texans who live downtown and discuss hopeful things with a southern lilt. It’s the fact that, on varying civic levels, every Austinite cares.

Thus, though the eyes of Texas may weep at the dismal state of our politics, the capital of Texas is still a very fine place to live.

Or at least, on this glorious day in spring, that’s how it feels to me.