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Land That We Love

Laura Bush

Favorite place: The Native Texas Park at at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

My favorite place is the Native Texas Park at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, at my alma mater, Southern Methodist University. Texas draws its beauty from the land, and the fifteen-acre park reflects that reality with prairie grasses, native wildflowers, and trees. Some of the trees—cedar elms, live oaks, and pecans—come from the tree farm at our ranch, in Crawford.

I love viewing this scene from season to season. In winter the golden grasses conjure images of a Texas ranch in the dead of January. In spring the wildflowers blossom into their reds, yellows, and blues, and all of them blow with the wind. In summer the landscape becomes still, much like the season’s slow pace. In fall the leaves of the oaks turn red and golden as the spent grasses prepare to renew themselves. Pausing atop a hill on the southernmost edge, you get a 360-degree panorama of Dallas’s dazzling skyline, SMU’s Georgian campus—and, of course, a certain presidential library.

Bush is a former teacher, librarian, and first lady of the United States. She lives in Dallas.

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