I sat under the locust tree for three weeks last year. It was in February, in the lower Rio Grande Valley, at a place called Falcon Heights. There is a campground there, and I pitched my tent near the locust tree -- or thorn tree, or acacia tree, but here folks call it a mesquite.
Three weeks alone, and yet I was happy the whole time. Not completely alone, because I could go over to the lodge and have little conversations with the somewhat older retired folks who spent the winter there.
Three weeks camping, and the weather was always bad -- It was cold and wet and windy every day -- and yet I was happy.
I had no girl friend, but only the vaguest fantasy of ever being with a woman again, and yet I has happy.
I am not that happy now.
Maybe it's because I had a little money -- about $1,500 -- and I wasn't worried about the future.
Today, I am not so happy. I worry all the time. I wish I had a little more money, and I wish I could go back to the campground.
I could do that next month, if I saved up.
Except -- what was it that made me so happy? -- I know it's that place itself. There has always been something special about Falcon Heights.
There'e no going back. Except I would like to be happy like that again. I fear it will never happen while I work at a newspaper. The work is too abstract, and I miss the earth too much.