Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Good Country Day

My nephew Paul and his girlfriend Leah are in town for their Spring Break and we've really enjoyed having them out here. Getting to show off your home town to new people helps you see it all in a new light, and gets you out of your rut too. For instance when I lived in San Antonio, I never went to the Alamo until some friends came in to visit.

So today me, Paul, Leah, and Annie met Aunt Sharon at Colbert Ranch right here in Bertram for a day of horseback riding. We went for about three hours and had a great lunch by the creek with the most delicious strawberries and blackberries you've ever seen. The owner's nephews and niece were there as well and we had a good time getting to meet and know them.

The highlight of the ride was Leah's horse, who expelled gas at a rate rarely experienced outside of a NASA launch. Never was I so eager to be at the head of a column of horses.

That did bring to light the fact that both Paul and I, as children, used to "Engage the Fart Boosters" while riding bikes, putting on a furious burst of speed after lighting the afterburner, so to speak. This never occurred to any of the females in the group during their entire childhood, proving once again that boys are smarter than girls. Or something.

Sharon was then nice enough to take us on an exploration of Longhorn Caverns, where she works as a tour guide. The transition from vibrant, ever-changing surface ranch world to serene, constant, geologically-slow underground complex was both jarring and moving. Seeing the steady work of millenia up close and personal really brought home how brief our time on this planet is. Sharon did a great job of bringing to life the cataclysmic history of the region and I couldn't help but come away with a sense of appreciation for the living, slow-breathing planet we live on.

We are but hangers-on, clinging precariously to the outermost layer of this massive planet. But in our small little shell we still find the excitement of pounding hooves, thundering blood, wild joys and fierce friendships. What a brief, wonderful, amazing ride we get, here on the skin of Mother Earth.

1 comment:

Denise said...

What a great piece of writing, brother dear!! Copy that one for your upcoming novel -- seriously. When walking around tomorrow, I'll be thinking about what's underneath my feet thanks to your posting.

Speaking of showing people around, ask Jeff Black if he enjoyed seeing Catfish Town in Baton Rouge, oh, about a million times!!!