March 29, 2011

It's that time!

What a glorious time to be alive in Texas! There isn’t a single season that touches my soul quite like Spring in Texas. It’s a time of renewing energy and the promise of warmer days ahead and the season just seems to make you feel younger. It’s the wind and thunderstorms, vivid greens, browns, blues and yellows, all offered as a visual picnic for your eyes to devour before summer arrives and the blazing heat dries up all evidence of that beauty.

I’m a fortunate man. I have had the opportunity to visit 25 – 30 of our wonderful 50 states while traveling and serving with the United States Navy. In each of those states there are vivid pictures of beauty I can recall and will always remember. These cool mornings and warm afternoons and evenings bring to mind my years in Camarillo, California where the average temperature range was clear and 58 – 84, every day, every night and all year long. There were, of course, the exceptions to that pattern but by and far that was the weather I experienced for four years. And it’s here in Texas, right now, even if it is for a fleeting period of 3 – 5 weeks.

I’ve stood at the peak of Diamondhead in Honolulu, Hawaii and witnessed the water breaking from above and the incredible forests and foliage, unlike anywhere else on earth. I’ve been to the Everglades in Florida and gazed over lily pads the size of a breakfast table lying in the shadows of the the mighty Cypress trees. I have explored the swamps of Louisiana where Spanish Moss hangs dramatically from the century old Live Oak Trees. And I’ve visited Central Park in New York, an ocean of green in the midst of a universe of gray concrete and glistening glass buildings.

In Arizona I’ve stood by the statuesque “saguaro” cactus in the Organ Pipe National Monument. You really tend to feel “small” standing next to them. I’ve hiked through a California mountain canyon with the red poppies ablaze where the color and expanse of that display is beyond belief. But none and I mean none of those magnificent blessings from God can compare to spring time in Texas.

As I have been driving to work the last few weeks, I’ve noticed the landscape beginning to yawn and slowly wake up. At first it was the little yellow flowers that always seem to show their faces before anything else. And then the Texas Thistles started to sprout and offer their plumes for all to see. But then, it happened. All around me, the first hints of deep lilac and blue started to emerge. It was only a few places at first, but as the week progressed I began to notice more and more that the sparse showings dotting the landscape began to spread into the familiar hues of deep, ocean blue on each side of the highway, fields and medians. The annual Texas Spring miracle had begun. They finally arrived! The bluebonnets have returned!

I can’t think of a single event that defines an experience as much as the annual Bluebonnet bloom in Texas. It’s more than just flowers blooming. The Bluebonnet bloom celebration is almost an exclusive event wholly held in Texas. Even though other states have the “Lupine”, they don’t quite have the color, tone, brilliance, magnificence or celebration of pride that is displayed in Texas each year. No other state celebrates the Bluebonnet as we Texans do. It’s an event, a time-honored tradition of getting the kids dressed up and getting those annual pictures snapped and put away for the coming generations to ogle over and to brag about.

So get the camera out, the kids all spruced up, pack the car and head out to find that perfect Bluebonnet Patch on a roadside near you because this event is a “limited time offer” and won’t be around much longer my friends.

Happy Spring, enjoy the Bluebonnets and God bless Texas!

The Impulsive Texan