Big Bend: Beauty and the Beast
The country, elements, and life are harsh, raw and wild. "The country isn't bad. It's just worse. Worse the moment you set foot from the train, and then, after that, just worser and worser." So wrote a camera man after visiting Big Bend just after the raids on Glenn Springs in 1916. ("The Little Punitive Expedition into the Big Bend," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 78, 1975. Full text here.) "Yet then there is the gentle side of the Big Bend, the magical and beautiful land that I and my Mexican and American friends know," wrote Wilfred Smithers who spent much of his life documenting life on the border in the early 1900's. An old forgotten cowboy explains it just like it is: "You go south from Fort Davis until you come to the place where rainbows wait for rain, and the big river is kept in a stone box, and water runs uphill. And the mountains float in the air, except at night, when they go away to play with the other mountains." Big Bend is indeed a jewel not only in the Texas desert, but inside and outside of all of us. Perhaps its the land that time forgot. And we can't forget.
Labels: Big Bend, Texas