Thursday, May 11, 2006

Austin Skies

Some places hold me because of the memories of who I was there, what I learned, who I became. Some places call me because of what I built, or grew, or did there. Some places live in my heart because of the people, the folks, the friends who held me close. But rare is the place that owns a part of me for no reason than what it is.

I've always been a bit rootless when it came to places. I think I wanted to live everywhere. I've made it around the world a few times and seen the sunset on four continents. I watched the sunrise in most of the 50 states. I've talked to the stars in countries where I didn't know the language and watched clouds from a 16th century manor house. I've seen the sky out airplanes and from sailboats and train windows.

Nothing ever filled me with the surprise and wonder of the Austin skies.

I'd try to describe them to you, but would you believe in colors that you've never seen before? Could you picture a morning with a Batman gray-black sky that 20 minutes later was blue as the tropical oceans? Would you be able to imagine clouds in shapes that looked like snowballs hanging in rows above for you to choose the one you liked most? Could you believe in watching a night storm in the distance off your back porch where the lightning ran sideways most of the night?

No. I thought not. Neither could I until I met them.

Instead I'll tell you about the 25-wood deck restaurant over the lake. At least once a week we'd go there to eat the best Tex-Mex dinner and drink margaritas, while watching the sun go down. I'd be thinking that People go on vacation to enjoy a place like this and we live here. The entire place would be one giant smile of relaxation. A lovely lake, great food what's not to like?

Then at the moment when the sun touched the hills on the horizon, and finally disappeared—it happened every evening at that time—all of the hundred or so people in the restaurant would stop—set down their drinks, their forks and knives—cheer and applaud the sun.

That's the beauty of the Austin skies.
—me strauss Letting me be


Valerie Houle said...

Just before the sun sets on the west side of Gabriola Island the first wheeze and whine can be heard. We smile lovingly into each others souls and fix our eyes on the technicoloured fuschia and purple horizon before us as Neil Adam pipes the lament and the sun sinks into the sea - "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound..."
Thinking of you Liz,

ME Strauss said...

Hello timethief,
I love the sky. How much I do miss the skies in Austin really is too hard to explain to anyone.

dsnake1 said...

you lucky girl, living in such a place!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dsnake,
I was a lucky girl then. Wasn't I? I'm lucky still to have the picture in my mind now. :)

dog1net said...

Thanks for the email. Your descriptive essay makes me want to be there yesterday. I can't wait. To celebrate the setting of the sun while enjoying the colors of the sky sounds like the experience of querencia.



ME Strauss said...

Just wanting you to have plenty to look forward to on your drive down to Texas. A new life is waiting there.

toadman said...

This reminds me alot of sitting on my Aunt's deck that was up on the side of a hill overlooking Lake Travis. Her house in Lago Vista holds alot of memories for me.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Toadman,
I thought this might hold a memory for you. I do so miss the hill country. It's nice to talk to someone who remembers too.

Viaggiatore said...

ME/Liz: I am baffled and humbled by your ability to put exactly my thoughts onto 'paper'.

For me, the sunset anywhere is magical - and particularly from here, my hilltop in Tuscany where Sunset is a daily event: time and people stop to witness it. At my house, always with something to toast with.

But you are right, there is something about the skies in Austin (Hill Country) that cannot be rivaled - at least nowhere in the world that I've seen yet. Though my hilltop comes darn close some days. we just don't get the purple.

Smiles coming at you ... and thank you for inspiring me from afar.

ME Strauss said...

Oh how I love Tuscany! Did read what I wrote about it when I was so sick of the grey skies of Chicago this past winter. You must. I think it would make you happy.

Thank you for understanding what I was writing about. That thrills me deeply.

ME Strauss said...


Start here.

Then keep going,
My family is from a little town called Ospitale near Modena.