Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just another vanilla town...

Bring me down from the clouds.

I once heard someone describe a town they had visited in Texas as "vanilla." At first I thought about how sweet that sounded - milky and sugary and creamy. I pictured the town as a simple, clean, brightly lit corner of the earth where the sun shone fully and the clouds were pure white. She then went on to claim that there were no distinguishing landmarks or characteristics of this particular city in Texas, stating that it just looked like a generic city. My vanilla vision tucked away quickly, and I felt immediately annoyed.

Texas is one of those places that I feel drawn to - likely due to the fact that Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights stole my heart and has yet to return it. I have only ever been to Texas in its skies and inside the high-security walls of its airports. I would feel blessed beyond blessed to have the chance to actually explore its cities and fields and to truly breathe its air. To truly be amongst its spirit and its life. My longing to twirl around in the same green land that Tim Riggins bought himself in the last season of that Texas town football show, or to pass a man with that Texas-only accent on the sidewalk of a city that just might be full of things bigger and better than anything you could find in its 49 neighbors, is palpable. It makes my chest bump with the excitement of possibility and down-home warmth. To hear someone describe one such town as plain and therefore boring and uncharismatic makes me rather confused and kind of sad.

When did people become so hard to please? When did people come to think that things have to be elaborate and overwhelmingly distinct to be beautiful and interesting? Maybe that town in Texas was vanilla. But I'd like to think it was vanilla because it was classic. It didn't try too hard to be anything but what it simply was. It surely is the favorite of many people who find joy and happiness in the simple things in life. The things that don't call for superfluous decoration or elaboration in order to be beautiful, much like the flavor. Or like the face of a young girl who feels no need to cover it in ornaments or face paint. She is beautiful as is. Without trying. Without covering the true nature of what makes her her.

I like to think that town in Texas was unimpressed with this lady too. Maybe it could see through her fancy language and need to have an opinion stronger than those around her. It remained as it was, apparently without any of those distinguishable characteristics she spoke about, because it wanted to attract only those who found joy in the simple things in life, rather than those who need to be constantly entertained and wooed by extras and add-ons.

I would also like to think I would do well for myself in a town like that - in the Texas air I've longed to breathe since Coach Taylor came into my life. I've always been simple and I've always found myself fascinated by simple things - railroad tracks, fire escapes, exposed brick walls, birds sitting on electrical wires, cozy cafes, drinking coffee on the beach. Vanilla, appropriately enough, has been one of my favorite flavors/scents since I can remember. Call me plain. Call me simple. Call me vanilla. Call me what you like, but I am not here to impress you. I am not here to decorate myself to keep you occupied. I am here to be appreciated by others like me. Others who see things for what they are, who see people for who they are.

Those come together as my definition of vanilla - sweet, pure, and perfect as is. So take me away to that vanilla town where I can dwell with the other simpletons of the world. It beats overhearing conversations by unappreciative people about their overlooked blessings. So remember to be grateful. Be pure. And find joy in the simple things life has to offer. You may have heard, but those small, simple things end up being the things that matter most. I'll see you in Vanilla.

Until next time,

No comments: