In the distance is a river. But unlike any other river – this is a river of borders, rules, laws and a separation of a society once whole, divided in two. On the left of the river is Mexico, on the right, Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA. There is nothing quite as warm as the light from a South Texas sunset or the starry sky that stretches out unimpeded across the desert night. Big Bend gets it’s name from the u-shaped turn the Rio Grande makes along it’s borders. It’s also the Rio Grande that lends so many great landscapes to visitors of this place. But despite these offerings, the river also serves as an inadvertent reminder of 9/11. There are no walls here like they build in other states. No fences. No patrol towers. In fact the river is knee deep in most places if not shallower. However, this border is “closed.” I learned today it wasn’t always this way but that Mexico and the United States shared the national park and that visitors could wade across the river and have lunch in Mexico and return a few minutes later, unimpeded and not labeled a criminal. Those days seem to be gone. Instead we stand at the edge of the river and look into Mexico and they look back at us.