Today is starting in a manner I consider too serious for a Friday. So I’m not going to let you-know-who get me down. In light of my highly anticipated repatriation, I will share some recent thoughts on the world’s second greatest nation (behind Israel, of course).
I was saying a prayer in thanksgiving to God yesterday for Texas and got stuck on whether to refer to it as Motherland or Fatherland. I couldn’t go with motherland because I think of bad movie references depicting stuffy soviet-era bad guys thumping their chests to “Mother Russia.” I couldn’t go with fatherland because, well, Adolf Hitler ruined that phrase for everyone.
My thoughts were placated by a song from Texas’ own son, Pat Green. “I sing songs about Texas. I sing them often as if she were some old lover I used know.” Truly I say to you, Pat got that one right on the money.
Texas has many qualities of a lover, all of them not necessarily desirable, but that only makes her that much more tangible. Texas is beautiful, even alluring. She can be cruel through a West Texas drought or tender and caring like a Hill Country rain. She’s breathtaking with desert sunsets and fun-loving with her beaches. What you give to Texas and Texans, you always get back in spades.
As desirable as Texas is, is it no coincidence she’s had many fight over her? The Six Flags over Texas is more than just theme park…although it’s a pretty sweet theme park. Those flags represent battles won and lost, fortunes made and destroyed, countries formed and torn apart. But as the weightlifter’s shirt says, “No pain, no gain.” Through the turmoil and gnashing of teeth, through the starring contest of good versus evil, an amazing country was formed.
European immigrants before and during the turn of the 20th century called America the New World. Anything was possible if you were willing to work for it. I submit to you that Texas is the last hold out from that bespoken world. Texans display an uncanny ability to fulfill their dreams, regardless of obstacles. This spirit, this bond between countrymen, is almost tangible.
What does it say to you, dearest reader, that through all three of my mid-east deployments I carried with me three flags and none of them were the stars and Stripes? My first deployment to Bahrain I had a Texas A&M flag. The second and third deployments to Iraq I had that same Fightin’ Texas Aggie Flag, the Flag of the Battle of Gonzales, and the Texas Flag. When I’m abroad and people ask where I’m from I always reply Texas. And now, like a punch-drunk sucker for more, I’m ready for more of her.
After I was married and considered my new life with my amazing wife, my heart hurt at the mere possibility that my children would not be born on Texas soil. I prayed God would find a way. And surely the good Lord, that same good and faithful God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, answered my prayers. A God so good to give me Texas and a Texan bride will also give me Texan children.
And so, my radiantly pregnant wife and I are planning our travels back to our native home. We’re both ready to embrace our former lover, Texas, once again. I know God has prepared a place for us there just as I know that He has blessed that hallowed soil.
In closing, dear friends, know that I am scratching the surface of what makes Texas. If you are a Texan, you already know what these poorly chosen words so inadequately describe. If you are not a Texan, I humbly invite you to fall in love with this amazing territory. God bless you and God bless Texas.