Today is the 29th of March and I could not have picked a more perfect day to enjoy the Barton Creek Greenbelt. I arrived to the area finding it to be quieter than the last time I had been there. This allowed me to take everything in around me and let me senses roam free. Today I wandered to an area that is a vast opening in the forest–a dried riverbed. The stone ground I walked was pitted with holes from erosion, filled with water from a recent rainfall. It was like being on an extraterrestrial landscape, with this strange ground, the silent breeze in the air, and the sun coming in at an angle through the trees, casting fascinating shadows across the rocks. I noticed small clusters of grass, dried out but still thriving, casting beautiful slender hairs of shadow.
I suddenly hear a dog off in the distance, and look back from where I had been walking to see him playing fetch with his owner. The dog is just launching himself into one of the small pools of water, splashing in the shallow puddle. I continue my journey over white boulders, slipping into a crack between two and tearing a strap on my sandal. This made the walk a little more tricky but I kept moving anyway. I crouch down and feel the rocks, smooth and soft from age and wear.
I am walking towards a cliff, houses perched on the edge of it, and notice a group of figures sitting in a shallow cave pretty far up. I decide to make the climb up as they started coming down. I put my faith in the earth I climbed and due to years of wear from people climbing it, I safely reached the top. I spent the rest of my time there until the sun set, gazing at the beautiful colors and textures below. All I could see was forest and rock, but in the distance was the reminder of the city, with the buzz of the nearby highway. It is difficult to describe the feeling of being there and difficult to describe that which I was gazing upon, but I can say that it felt so incredibly raw and untouched. Obviously this is not true, because hundreds of people come to this area daily, but with the glow of the warm sun, painting the landscape with beautiful shadows, and the breeze rustling the trees, creating natural music, I felt like the only person on Earth. It was a fantastic and peaceful way to end the week.
Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language