Trail Riders Come to Town

Yep! They're here, wagons, horses and riders, almost at the end of their annual journey. Just about a mile more to Houston's Memorial Park. Those trail riders are just in time for Go Texan Day. Just after noon today, I turned east on W Gray and there in the two lanes headed west were dozens of trail riders. Right there in the middle of River Oaks Shopping Center. Looked like they were headed straight into River Oaks itself, though I knew they'd be turning right at Shepherd, going toward the park. I had to laugh at the juxtaposition of chuck wagons with la Griglia, Sur la Table and La Mode Lingerie.
Then I heard their music, loud country and western and then a tease of zydeco. I burst into tears. I was sure that the music kept these trail riders moving forward. I just felt it. Music takes you places, frees you up to become who you really are without all that thinking and intellectual pondering. I hear music so irregularly, that a great lack, a profound loss enveloped me. I remember how it is to dance, to let go and live in sensation and rhythm, move into a moment, the space where time and place become immaterial.

Barbara Ehrenreich had it absolutely right when she wrote "Dancing In the Streets, A History of Collective Joy". Human beings are made for dancing and celebrations. I quote from her website:

"Dancing in the Streets explores a human impulse that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.

"Drawing on a wealth of history and anthropology, Barbara Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. From the earliest orgiastic Mesopotamian rites to the medieval practice of Christianity as a “danced religion” and the transgressive freedoms of carnival, she demonstrates that mass festivities have long been central to the Western tradition. In recent centuries, this festive tradition has been repressed, cruelly and often bloodily. But as Ehrenreich argues in this original, exhilarating, and ultimately optimistic book, the celebratory impulse is too deeply ingrained in human nature ever to be completely extinguished."

So, here's to the hundreds of trail riders flooding into Houston for an annual celebration, bringing music and some soul to those concrete streets leading into Memorial Park.