January 16, 2015. 3-4:30pm
Today I went with two friends to the 360 Bridge Overlook. We hiked up a rocky cliff stopping at each flat platform to take in the magnificent site before us. We continued to venture upward then made stop on the south east side of the cliff. The temperature was 68 degrees with a light breeze that fluctuated through the trees. The suns presence was strong and bounty. It was such a delight to see the sun after almost a full week of cold, wet, and grey weather. I sat there overlooking the piece of art while I soaked in the vitamin-D. I am surrounded by forest green White Cedar Trees that provide shade and homes for the native species. Their branches are sturdy and rough and below their trunk thick and withered. Ash white and grey rocks cover the ground as well as brown dirt with mixed sediments, and in front of me is a large body of water that makes up part of Lake Austin.
The lake is under the Pennybacker Bridge which connects the northern and southern sections of the 360 highway. The water is navy blue and ripples swiftly when the wind blows. The view is so calming and so peaceful that I am moved to meditate. I became one with nature during and after meditation. All my senses were awake and interacting with the environment. I could feel the heat of sun warming my body and I could hear the gentle waves in the lake. I breathed in the clear air and exhaled all of my stress and anxieties. I was present, I was one with nature.
Unfortunately, human activity has made an footprint on the popular site. Trash included empty bottle cans, abandoned grocery bags, and party décor like balloons and confetti. The trails are imbedded in the cliff due to the many hikers that come every day. However, despite human impact, the plants and wildlife continue to flourish and keep the environment alive and peaceful.
January 18, 2015. 5-6pm.
The temperature was distinctively warmer Sunday afternoon at the overlook. Shortly in to my visit, the breeze picked up and the temperature quickly dropped from 72 degrees to 64 degrees. I thought that that was quite a difference in temperature in such a short amount of time, approximately 7 minutes. The trees ever so beautifully began to reflect the water and the still air created a picture of art before my eyes. I watched the sun set with my friends, each of us in awe of nature’s beauty. The sun started to set around 5:45pm and as it fell it went down in colors of purple, pink, and hot orange. The colors painted across the sky producing a breathtaking masterpiece. I could feel all energies of the sun, nature, air, and the lake. The environment was one; a working ecosystem creating natural beauty. As Aldo Leopold pronounced, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise”.