Muleshoe, TX, a note about connections between seemingly disparate peoples. Yesterday, we passed through a small town of 5,000+ population holding their place in the winds of the high plains by the name of Muleshoe, TX. We bought gas, some dark coffee, and received a gift of remembrance of a forgotten time.
Remember when people respected the profound rituals of life, even if the rituals didn’t personally affect us? Remember when we all would stop, stand and witness, a show respect for a “life event,” being present as a member of the human family?
Does it really take a profound disaster or personal pain to get our attention? Why is it so difficult to stop and give our undivided attention to another? Are there places where strangers still remove their hats to honor unknown fellow passengers on the ship of life?
We passed through this overtly poor village, surrounded by grain elevators and the peeling paint of abandoned buildings. I could see the lights of a police car blocks ahead at the intersection. As we crept closer at 30 mph, I saw that it wasn’t an accident; it was a funeral possession. In front of me, the 18-wheeler, ship of the plains carrying unknown cargo, slowed down and pulled to the curb. To my surprise, all our eastbound traffic passing in the opposite direction came to a stop.
We collectively pulled over and waited for hearse and cars in the procession to pass. The head and the foot of this procession were county Sherriff cars; all lights flashing. In the middle, a 20 year old hearse and 15 or so cars of varying ages and occupancy moved slowly through town as everyone here paused their lives, just for a moment.
I have never been a fan of Texas. Each way, our route through Texas is 600+ miles. Multiply that by three trips, and that makes over 1800 miles of ranches, BBQ places, prickly pear cactus, 100’s of Texas flags and very fast, but well mannered drivers Residents of New Mexico sometimes find the big trucks, big hair and big attitudes tiresome.
I have discovered that crossing Texas three times offers a new perspective, a more rounded sense of these independent folks ad myself as well. I’m not sure how this event will impact my life.
“It was nice to meecha Muleshoe.”