Today I’m finishing off the entire Caves to Qatar series with some thoughts about what it means to belong to a certain land.
The gilded light of the September sun cascaded over the fields of bleached grasses as I carefully picked my way around blue mistflowers and tall boneset, contentedly chewing on the bitter head of goldenrod.
While I’m in the fields, sometimes I’ll think about Thailand and travel, and what life was like in other countries, stumbling through my Malay vocabulary and climbing the mountains of Thailand.
It’s like another world out there, far beyond the setting sun, a world of realms; absorbing the light of the dying day, I know two things.
1. I love to travel.
2. I love my homeland.
I adore Asia, but it doesn’t give me the same feelings I feel here in the States.
I can rave about Thailand’s scorpions and tokays, but in the end I want to collapse in the Texas weeds, breathe the scent of tall boneset, snack on dandelion, and hear the zip-zip of the dragonflies.
As I ride, run, or drive along the wet roads, catching sight of the “fodder in the shock” on the rain-and-sun-bathed, cow-mowed grasses on either side, I’ll never forget that this is my motherland.
But I didn’t know how much I lived and breathed it until I stepped from its fold.
I love this place, this little corner of creation that I was born in, but it was only when I left that I realized what I had.
With a spark and a flame,