LauraLynn Jansen

West Texas

Some people see it as a place to endure and get through when driving. To me however there is something so beautiful about the vast openness of West Texas. Exotic Yuccas shoot up seeking the sky, some separating into two as they grow. The dead spent leaves lie back on top of each other covering the trunk as it extends into the dry, dusty earth below. Then at the intersection of the pointed young living green leaves a stalk arises with amazing white flowers, a bold statement of creaminess to the eyes each spring.
Tonight I sit on the porch of a ranch home encompassing hundreds of acres. I am inspired to keep a deep sense of quiet in myself just as I do when passing the miles of expansiveness on the road. Here I soak in all the sounds of the birds as they twitter to each other about their place in the world. The wind gently caressing me is heard in the oaks shading the front lawn, and from them acorns fall as part of their seasonal offering.
Only a few drops fell as I drove here today nothing like the rains I have seen shower the mountains which lead to Mexico, bordering the US terrain in this part of the country. Though clouds covered the sky just an hour ago they are now moving away. I have my fingers crossed to see more stars than I have in the last month and a half of my travels.
Here I step carefully so I don’t accidentally clip one of the most visible creatures of the desert – lizards. On this journey I have taught several yoga sessions and within them I’ve incorporated the lizard pose. This asana is a wonderful deep groin stretch for the joint where the leg and hip meet. I also chose them for their metaphoric meaning. One time as I was driving cross-country I went through the beautiful canyon leading to Sedona. Along this road Native Americans sell their traditional artworks. I inquired about a sand painting on a flat red rock. It depicted a lizard. The woman explained the medicine of lizard is survivor. Of course it made sense why I would be attracted, knowing this ancient belief.  I purchased the piece. This knowledge of lizard I remembered as I made pieced together the poses for the Inspired Rebel Yoga sessions for this tour.
Living in West Texas takes a strong will to live whether you are a wild animal or human. Rain and jobs are both sparse. I feel this place and its people are tall with pride though rusted slightly from hard living, much like the silos I’ve seen across the hundreds of miles I’ve driven over the last two weeks.
One of my favorite sights is the crowded cab space of a cowboy’s truck with the ever perched hat spreading out. How does it not hit the headrest? I wonder if there has to be a negotiation of brims when two cowboys ride side by side? When I first came through West Texas way back at the start of my journey I tweeted out how there is something special about West Texans. I still have to agree. In no other part of the country where I have driven do folks pull onto the shoulder while driving so you can pass them. You just gotta love West Texas.
Be sure to checkout my photos from this part of the country on my FaceBook page.
Posted in Blog, driving in Texas, lizard, Native American, survivor, West Texas on October 6, 2011.

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