It’s been my experience that discussing anything related to Texas in the ‘progressive’ blogosphere is all too often a complicated, fraught thing, as is discussing LBJ, and even, in the wake of her death, Lady Bird Johnson.
So, I’ll keep this simple, and focused on one thing. My love of this state, and I do love it, is based in my sense of place. And that sense of place is completely rooted in the natural geographic and environmental characteristics. It’s a physical connection that my intellect and my politics have little control over. It’s about where my feet meet the ground, what my eyes expect to see on the horizon.
There were times, when I was younger, that I actively sought to leave Texas behind, and I found out that this state of belonging to a place was, for me, not changeable, any more than my eye color was. As much as I was in love with New York City, I never once, in the entire decade I lived there, felt physically at home, connected, in the primal way I do here. I feel plugged in here and the environment speaks to me here. I am at home in it and my dedication to the naturalist cause and the global environment springs from this place and its lessons.
Whatever else may be said of her, it’s evident from the historical record and anecdotal evidence that Lady Bird Johnson felt that same connection. I think these things moved her, and I think she served them well.
LBJ Library Photo by Yoichi Okamoto, 1965, from the memorial at the LBJ Library site.