Traveling the mind-numbing expanse of I20 that connects Dallas and Midland, I am taken aback by the beauty and unexpected art that lies just beyond Sweetwater. I feel a catch in my throat as a field of wind turbines comes into view.
I have seen these before, scattered in the distance on a ridge here and there. But this is different. This time, they stretch beyond the horizon. Too many to count. Finding it hard to concentrate on the road, I pull over to watch. Except for the passing cars, the only sound is wind. The giants are spinning silently, angled in ever-so-slightly different directions so that their acrobatics are not entirely synchronized. From a distance, they remind me of children…arms outstretched…turning cartwheels.
Except for glimpses of the blades carried along the highway, I have never been able to imagine the size of these windmills. Now, a few miles ahead, they inch closer to the road. I feel like a tourist in a futuristic city. Is everyone seeing what I’m seeing? I want to share.
Pulling over once again, I marvel at what seems like an airplane propeller, slowly gearing up for takeoff. Suddenly, I’m a bit sad…this aircraft is grounded. But then, it seems confident in it’s own beauty…singular, yet shared with thousands just like it.
Long ago I made this same trip. At the time, I was drowning in sorrow. Treading the memories of a lost friend. Pitch black was the scenery on both sides, until thousands of red lights blinked on. Long enough to catch my eye. Then, just as fast, they were gone. Over and over they blinked…for miles…for as far as I could see. I could not imagine what these fields of light could be.
When I asked a friend in Midland what they were, she smiled and said, “They are how we know we are almost home”.