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Walking Carefully Through the Bluebonnets, Looking for Trip Wires

The Monday after SXSW, or "South By" as Austin folk call it, is usually accompanied by the calm feeling of returning to routine. Our kids are done with spring break and are back in school, all the out-of-towners have returned from whence they came, and we're back at our desks, cash registers, or if you're a minister whose day off is Monday, out enjoying a rare temperate day before the crushing heat of summer. The wildflowers are being led in their season by the bluebonnets, transforming parks and highway sides into bunches of blue.

Most of us were, this year, back to that routine, but the calmness was not.

I walked to my favorite bench by the creek, uncharacteristically keeping my eyes a step ahead of my feet. Not for the snakes we begin to see at this time, but, of all things, for trip wires.

"Would you even know what a trip wire was, if you saw it?" I asked myself, mocking.

It felt ridiculous, but there it was, a warning we were hearing from radio, tv, an…

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