Happiness is creating an environment around yourself to be happy. Wrong! Happiness is recognizing the good that is in the environment around you already.
Plano is a suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was once a land of rolling tall grass prairie, covered in wild flowers and laced with streams that fed pecans, persimmons, and red oaks. It was the ideal version of human health and safety: plentiful game and wild food growing everywhere. The trees provided shade and safety from predators. It was called Blackland for its rich, black soil. It was once the home of buffalo, prairie chickens, and the Texas wolf.
Enter the Human Plague. At first settlement by Blacks and Whites, it was heralded as some of the Nation’s best farmland. Now a feeble 5000 acres of prairie remain an an area that covers 12 million acres. The Texas wolf is extinct, and the prairie chickens are gone. The wildlife is mainly found in fencerows and agricultural land, where only the hardiest animals can adapt. Humans, who have forgotten that they are animals themselves, try not to break a sweat as they rush from their air-conditioned homes into air-conditioned cars and back into air-conditioned offices, all the while releasing toxic chemicals into the air. It gets hotter every year, leading to higher air-conditioner use, which increases Dallas’ urban heat dome, resulting in hotter temperatures. This vicious cycle is now all too familiar in cities around the globe. Retail outlets line the concrete abyss like rows of the gapped teeth of a sinister monster.
Plano is everything that I have fought against. It is unsustainable, car dependent, gray, and desertified. Although it rests on some of the most fertile soil in Texas, food is produced far away and carried in daily along eight lane highways beneath a cover of smoke. It is a graveyard of forgotten graves, paved and washed by oil. Its creeks are gutters. Its trees are stunted and sparse. It is a self-enforced prison of loneliness and drug abuse.
I’m moving to Plano Tuesday for a job. I will miss you Nacogdoches, but the sooner I make a little money, the sooner I can leave this God-forsaken wasteland.