The Red Roads of Texas

Vast stretches of open land, almost untouched and undisturbed
on many occasions did console and guide me safely.
Often I ventured off the grid and away from the busy city to help me keep my sanity.

Each time I  took this road less traveled,
I reconnected with nature, with God, with the inner me.

It is a land in the breast of a holy land
whose memory was buried alive and left for dead.
A place where there were no cell phone signals.
No fences.  Just a stretch of endless pavement straight ahead.

You.  Chance.  Fate.  Open territory.
I suppose it was risky.  I was a young woman of around 23
when I used to drive from San Antonio every weekend from the Valley.

A Texas girl with a small white pick up truck,
like the back of my hand I knew my way across Texas.
Me and my caballito blanco cruised all the state,
there was not an open road that I wanted to miss.

There is an old road that the ancestors from many nations used to walk
to get to the most sacred of medicine gardens.
But now they have become roads that lead to prisons and concentration camps,
very tightly guarded.

Long before the white man, relatives from all nations would make intergenerational pilgrimages to the territory,
hunting in the ceremonial hunting grounds of Central Texas,
collecting mezcal seed, praying at the springs, and journeying south to the Valley.

They journeyed there to harvest
the most sacred of medicine:
el abuelito,
el sagrado peyotito.

People used to walk this same road I drive,
praying for the journey to the medicine, singing songs,  and calling its name, asking it to appear.
The journey was a risk because it comes out only if it wants to.
It grows in families and lives with the deer.

On many occasions before I remembered my name I rode through the brush forests and prayed, thought, and reflected.
Tezcatlipoca and I rode those roads  for years.
I cried.  I died.  I was resurrected.

Little did I realize that the country road I thought I had chosen to drive
had been genetically encoded into my DNA.
It took me to the medicine grounds of the most high
and the Yanaguana, a birthplace of the people,
land of the deer, and the cradle of life.

These sacred Texas lands,
fed my soul before I knew their names and stories.
What a blessing it has been to witness the beauty and feel the spirit of my homeland,
my beloved Texas, a holy territory.

"Three Hills" by Iris Rodriguez. Near Medina Lake at the Bear Creek Ranch Subdivision. This shot was taken a few months after the sale of inherited land by a white woman who inherited it from her pioneer grandfather, who took it from the native peoples. This was part of several thousand acres that were becoming subdivided and sold.
“Three Hills” by Iris Rodriguez. Circa early 2000s. Near Medina Lake at the Bear Creek Ranch Subdivision. This shot was taken a few months after the sale of land by a white woman who inherited it from her pioneer grandfather, who took it from the native peoples. This was part of several thousand acres that were becoming subdivided and sold.
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Iris Rodriguez

Artivist / Journalist / Rascuacha Tech / Network Producer at Xica Media
Please consider supporting my work and livelihood by donating to me/my networks: paypal.me/xicamedia

Artivist / Writer / Rascuacha Tech / Network Producer at Xica Media
Bio here.
Channels: Xicana Chronicles | End Family Detention | Xica Nation | Tezcatlipoca Records | MTX Files | Yacatsol | Texas UFW 2016
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