A gentle love note to Texas, Elizabeth Bruenig’s essay takes time to reflect on her family leaving the state, after more than 200 years of history. A thoughtful look at heritage, community, and belonging.

I wanted to call and tell them to turn around and go back, but it wouldn’t have been any use. They wanted to be closer to me and my children on the East Coast. People can be heliotropic, their faces turning toward the future the way flowers lean to the sun. They were always going to follow their grandchildren, and I was the one who’d spirited them north in the first place. I had been the one to end our family’s history in Texas; they had only been late to accept it.