I do believe I live in one of the prettiest parts of Texas. For just a street away from ours is a greenbelt that extends for miles and miles into the center of Austin. This greenbelt was the main attraction that convinced us that we were choosing the correct house to live in. And it has certainly not disappointed.
A short walk from home brings us to a little stream that often completely dries up during hot summer months. So most of the time we can skip over the rocks and cross over into the greenbelt and start our hike. It has been raining heavily in Austin this winter though, and so the little stream is now a swelling river! We could still have waded across, but we took a longer, drier route into the greenbelt some days ago.
A short distance down the trail there is a "waterfall". There is never much water here, and though the pool below the fall has always had at least a little water, it's usually dry enough to sit on the rocks above and watch the pool. So imagine our surprise when we saw this pretty waterfall that completely stopped us from crossing!
This beautiful greenbelt has a network of trails where one can easily get lost. So there is always another route that we can take if there's a problem with one of them. Instead of crossing over the fall as we usually do, we continued on this side of the stream and followed the trail further.
We were in the shade, but the setting sun lit up the trees across the stream from us, and their reflection in the still water was breathtaking.
We soon came to a second, more shallow waterfall where the water going over the smooth rock sheets was transparent as glass, then exploded like crystal as it fell on the rocks below.
We continued on the trail, and followed the sound of the water falling as it tripped over gnarled tree roots exposed by the force of the stream.
Further along, the setting sun lit up the foliage and its reflection marked the water like liquid gold.
We had by then walked for an hour and a half, following the stream, and the sound of the water falling.
It was getting dark, and so we stopped at this point where there was a deep, clear pool of water beneath us, and flat rocks along the stream. A perfect campsite ... and so close to home! Much as we wanted to continue along this endless trail, we decided to stop since it was rapidly getting dark. As we headed back home, we decided we would be back here to camp.
Three hours of walking in the crisp, cool air, listening to the gurgling sounds of water ... could there be anything more serene?
As this year ends and a new one begins, I wish for you (and for me) a world filled with peace, and serene, quiet moments of delightful contemplation. Happy New Year!