This is my homeland.

There is something deeply emotional for me about the Texas Hill Country. It is the land of my mother’s people, it is where I grew up and it is where my ashes will be scattered.

A lot more people love it now than when I was young, and why not? It’s a stunning and ever-changing landscape, and it is rich in natural resources, including the world-renowned flora and rivers that are clear to the bottom, no matter how deep the water gets. The towns still proudly show their heritage and host tourists from all over the world with the trademark Texas friendliness.

Late spring and early summer usher in some of the most volatile weather. Storms, flash floods and high winds as much a part of the landscape as the hills. There is a beauty to the volatility, and I got to watch a downpour from a hilltop vista on my way to a job yesterday. It served as a reminder of who and what I am.

In trying so hard to push away pain, I have ignored the deep and profound beauty of volatility. I had to observe a storm play out in front of my face to understand that the storm I am in (and the storms that I keep finding myself in) can be dangerous and destructive just as they can also be breathtakingly beautiful.

Mature perspective comes from a lot of pain. Appreciating beauty in the midst of pain…that has taken a long time. And a little Hill Country magic.