Tuesday, September 25, 2012

THE TURNING OF THE SEASONS


It's now autumn.  Somehow, imperceptibly, the seasons have turned through almost a full year since I've returned to San Antonio.  Right on cue, the slightest hint of a chill is coming into the days and nights.  Of course, in Texas that means the high temperatures are in the 90's instead of the 100's.

Yet somehow the trees know to begin turning into the fall colors.  Perhaps because of the shorter days, perhaps because of the drought.  For whatever reason, the change is welcome.

Now I've been back in San Antonio longer than in Boquete.  While time moved ever so slowly there, here it is whizzing by at a dizzying pace, almost too fast for me to take everything in.

At first there was severe reverse culture shock.  Having been without a car for the first two months, I rode the bus just for essential trips and was oblivious to the sprawling suburbs that had sprung up in my 20-year absence.

Since I've had my old car back, I've enjoyed riding around and re-discovering familiar parts of town.  Some I'm just now exploring for the first time.  It's wonderful.

San Antonio has changed a lot during the 20 years I was away.  But the essential things that drew me back are still here.  Beautiful scenery punctuated by limestone outcroppings, many sunny days, fascinating history, great Tex-Mex food, and friendly people.  Did I mention the great food?

It didn't take long, however, to realize that I don't want to spend my time riding around town or surfing the web.  So I've been meeting with various people in different activities, trying to find a new niche.  I believe I've found it:  being a part of the conversation to re-vitalize Downtown.  I met with Robert Rivard, the former Editor of the Express-News, who is now spearheading a multimedia conversation about the future of the city, especially the Downtown.  Our young mayor (whom I hope you saw at the Democratic National Convention) has made resurgence of Downtown a high priority.  Already there are several large residential projects going up.  But unfortunately Downtown still lacks many of the amenities, such as grocery stores, that would make people want to live there.

Bob Rivard invited me to write some stories for The Rivard Report.  The first one, about my neighborhood, was just published. Hope you like it; there will be more.

In the meantime, here are some new images from the San Antonio Botanical Garden which, along with others, are on my photography website in the San Antonio Gallery:

Stapelia gigantea
Palm Fronds
Lily Pond

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