Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Under the locust tree

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.

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