Saturday, November 18, 2006

Crossing Woman Hollering Creek

Sometimes the long commute home from the Banned Books Cafe was extended by a few miles when we took the scenic route home from the big city. Woman Hollering Creek is a small waterway; it meanders through sylvan glades past majestic mottes of live oak trees. We once lived about a mile from here. I planted a Lacebark Elm tree about ten years ago on a hillside, and sometimes I drive past to check its progress. It's a beautiful tree, nearly thirty feet tall in the current property owner's front yard.
There's no official explanation about how the creek got its name. Mexican writer Sandra Cisneros (she's from Chicago but claims a homestead in Cottonwood City) used the creek in the title of a book of her short stories, but in my opinion she's overrated by English professors who assign her work to hapless second year college students. She's just not, in my humble opinion, a good enough writer to enter the American literary canon with the likes of John Steinbeck, but there's a dearth of Mexican-American novelists, so she'll have to do for now. Somebody who is really good, and Mexican-American, would be Ana Castillo. I thoroughly enjoyed her book, "So Far From God," and had a great time watching my fellow Mexican-American literature classmates squirm when I worked out the theory of the "immaculate contraction of the AIDS virus" after I did a "close read" of Castillo's story (read it if you dare). I bet that my professor stole my idea and used it in one of those books that college professors are obliged to write so they can retain their university tenure but I really don't have a care about it.
Maybe Woman Hollering Creek's name is connected to La Llorona, who according to legend drowned her children, and can be heard wandering along the banks of a river, crying for her children, but that's just folklore ... maybe.
Woman Hollering Creek crosses Interstate 10 at some point, and I believe it eventually empties into Cibolo Creek, which is much more impressive, and has more written history, at least after the Anglos stole the land from Mexico in the 1830s.
There's really not much point to this blog post, except that I happened to have my camera when I crossed the creek recently, and I stopped for awhile to check it out.
We miss the country living, and someday we'll return to it, on a plot of land where with any luck, a creek just like this one will flow through it. I'll plant another lacebark elm tree, and watch it grow.

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