Friday, March 2, 2012
Independence Day...Pride and Joy!
Today is March 2, and if you're not from Texas, it's just another day. For Texans, it is a day of throwing our shoulders back, raising our chins a little higher than usual, sticking our chest out a little more, and saying, Happy Independence Day, Texas!
Independence.....I love the sound of it in almost any connotation. I love the way the hard consonants roll off my tongue....
Independence..... independence....opposite of dependence, of co-dependence....of not knowing who you are, but instead, being confident; looking your Fears and Demons in the eye and saying, "Bring it!" The first Texans modeled that fierce confidence in their convictions, their desire for freedom from tyranny and their dream of living on what is now Texas soil. I'm certainly not a history buff, (that would be Darlin), but I know enough to know, Independence Day is a day of celebration for all Texans and those of you who got here as fast as you could...:)
What is it about Texas that stirs so many? I could write a book about what it means to be a Texan, but for most of you, I'd be preaching to the choir! Here's just an example of what Texans have coursing through their blood.
Many years ago, one of my grad school courses focused on cultural diversity. We were divided into small groups and were asked to discuss the ethnicity in our own heritage in which we identified with the most. Everyone was talking with pride about being Polish, German, African American, etc. When it was my turn, I said, "I am part Irish and Cherokee Indian, (that's why I'm sometimes wild AND crazy!) but the part of my heritage I identify with and am most proud of is my Texas roots." The professor tried to suppress a smile, and when our eyes met, she gave me a subtle nod of approval. I knew instantly I was looking another independent Texan in the eye.
I am fiercely proud of the stubborn independent streak, wider than the Rio Grande, that courses through our veins. I love Texas "Hi Y'all!" greetings, chicken fried steak and smashed potatoes (what my kids used to call them), Texas barbecue, Texas music (thank you, Willie, Stevie Ray, Ruthie Foster, Pat Green, Los Lonely Boys, and on and on), Texas heat and how Texans look you right in the eye and don't flinch when they have something to say.
In the meantime, while everyone else in our wonderful nation is enjoying just another day in March, I hope you take a minute to breathe in some fresh air, look up at the wide open Independent sky, and smile. Texas Independence Day? It's NOT only for Texans....this spirit belongs to ALL of us who strive for Independence from the chains that bind us, the entanglements in life that keep us imprisoned. It reminds us to keep on keepin' on....to not flinch in battle, to never ever give up, and to never ever take for granted those who went before us. For through their sacrifice, they have shown us anything is possible.
So, here's to Independence everywhere....Freedom....Celebrate it!
And that's it y'all...Happy Independence Day!!