Last Thursday (March 2nd) was Texas Independence Day. We started throwing a Texas Independence Day party in 2001 and did so every year up to 2020—about eight days before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Independence Day party was legendary with our friends and neighbors. At its height, about 50 or 60 people would cram into our house to eat, drink, play games, and celebrate the spirit of the Lone Star State. I wore a Texas flag shirt. It was one of the best nights of the year.
Texas has lost its luster for me—politically and ideologically. I love the diversity of the people and the land of Texas. I do not love its politics and have grown annoyed by its arrogant exceptionalism. Mind you, I used to be one of those who celebrated Texas’s star was the brightest among the 50 on the U.S. flag. Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!
I’m still fascinated by Texas’s history and the land. I miss the River Road near Terlingua. I dream of Fort Davis, Marfa, Lajitas, and far west Teas. It’s magic out there. I left some of my heart in those mountains. I miss the vibrant cultural diversity of the people of Texas—many of who have settled there from all over the world. But this week, Texas Independence Day was another day.
Independence. This used to be my rallying cry. I was independent!
Individualism and independence often fly in the face of love, where sharing with and caring for others is the movement. As I get older, I realize I cannot do anything alone and how my actions impact many others way more than I knew years ago. I know we are all connected, but over the past 13 years, I’ve started to understand it, and this understanding changed what Texas means to me. No longer Texan independence, but Texas’s namesake: Tejas—the Spanish spelling of the Caddo word taysha, meaning “friend” or “ally.”