FIELDS OF TEXAS BLUEBONNETS
In my new life as a talker about my new book TEA ON THE GREAT WALL, I find myself referring to my adopted state, nation really, of Texas. Things I found in memory to be important to me in China, I find in Texas.
One is, courtesy to others. How many non-Texans pull over in their cars when they know someone is trying to pass them? and the car in behind, that wants to pass, doesn’t honk angrily; he/she just waits for the one in front to move over. And he does, and there are friendly waves. It’s lovely. Next time you’re in a Texas city, listen for the honking cars. You won’t hear any.
And the environment, meaning, birds, wildlife, flowers, waters. They don’t make huge political statements about it; they just quietly get things done as a matter of their own choice.
Here in my little part of Texas, oyster beds are being renewed after storms have pulled them apart. In another area in this bird fly-through, artificial strips of land have been built in the Corpus Christi harbor area to give the birds a place to rest, feed, breed on their long flights across the Gulf of Mexico. Here the blue crabs are cherished and nourished because the whooping cranes need to feed on them. The fish markets have special packages of frozen left-over little chunks of fish to feed the herons and egrets that come to call on the docks. Here there is a two-week long Hummingbird Festival to which visitors come from from many areas to watch the birds being banded, and to learn about their habits. Our gardens are planted with flowers and berries that nourish the tiny birds; everyone has hummingbird feeders holding a potion of ¼ sugar to boiled sterile water; this gets changed every few days. There are butterfly gardens. Imagine!
All these remind me of the Chinese courtesy, and the Chinese respect and appreciation for the beauty of their landscape and their birds. Another day I’ll write about cowboys, from the point of view of an outside observer.
I am blessed to be able to live here.