I love nature. It reminds me of everything that is good and pure. I can be hurting in one moment with my mind all clouded up with problems and stress but when I’m around it, bliss surrounds me. Calmness and peace rush in like the soothing waters of its streams. It’s a place of solitude, healing and Zen.
I grew up around nature. My parent’s house used to be surrounded by rice fields, ponds and creeks. I remember how everyday seemed like a great adventure. During lunch breaks, I would rush to the nearby pond and catch a few mud fish trapped in an old woven basket. Long before I knew what goldfish were, they were my version of goldfish. A few I kept in my improvised water jug aquarium and kept as pets while the rest I returned happily to their home. Life was simple yet full of wonderful surprises.
A few weeks ago, my family and I went to the Hill Country to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t ask for anything material but I did wish to be close with nature and explore it with my two best friends, my wife and son. We visited 3 parks in 2 days plus a lot of exciting bonuses in between. I couldn’t have wished for a better gift.
On our last day in Austin, me and my wife were still deciding where to go. We already went to Mckinney Falls State Park and Zilker Park the day before and we were hoping to go somewhere that can match the beauty and fun in these two amazing places. Call it fate or plain coincidence but I was drawn to check Pedernales Falls State Park while I was googling for the best places for adventures at the Hill Country.
I had to laugh when my wife blurted out sounding concerned, “Where in the world are we?” as we passed through what seemed to be an endless uninhabited series of winding road. I tried to calm her down by saying, “Hey, look at that spectacular view. Isn’t that beautiful?” My son on the other hand was just as excited as I am. He would raise his arms and shout, “Yipee!” everytime the car goes in a sudden downhill drop. It was his version of an instant roller coaster ride.
We finally reached the park. The view from the top was breathtaking. Can’t believe nobody told me about this jewel in Texas. From a distance, we could hear the sound of falling waters. Before we walked down towards the falls, my son blew bubbles while me and my wife took pictures. Lots of pictures.
Without fear, my son started running down the stairs. My heart skipped a beat when I realized how slippery and dangerous it was. Sounding alarmed I yelled, “Stop and wait for me.” What a relief when he did.
We were all excited to see up close the upper section of Pedernales Falls. There were about 4 drops of the waterfalls that we could visually see. There were probably more. How the cascading waters dropped and stirred the tranquil part of the falls was just beautiful. Not to be outshine were the many unique and fascinating rock formations.
My son had a fun time throwing pebbles into the water. He would jump with joy and excitement when the stones made a big splash. He reminded me of how I was when I was about his age. Just like him, nature to me was a huge playground where I found and gathered many moments of happiness and serenity. Just as many as the pebbles we were standing on.
While I was busy capturing images with my camera, my son was also busy capturing moments with his heart. Looking so happy as he counted his shells, my son cheerfully told me, “Dad, look at me. I’m a great explorer.” I brought down my camera, smiled and said, “Yes, you are.”
Nature inspires us to discover things we thought are not possible. My wife and I found a fascinating tree with clear water flowing out of its trunk. Part of it flowed into a small stream while the rest created a miniature waterfall.
We took off our flip-flops and dipped our feet into the cold, crystal clear waters. It felt so good. So refreshingly good!
On top of the tree was a pond with live fishes in it. On one side, bubbles were forming as water came out from its sand bottom. A wonderful discovery that made me feel like a kid all over again.
I heard my wife’s excited voice calling, “Look, look, checkout their catch.” The man showed us a few Carp as big as my forearm. I told her, “That is really cool. Wish I brought my fishing rod.”
I wish we didn’t have to leave the park. So much fun for so little time. Unfortunately, we had to go and though our magical encounter was brief, it was more than enough to inspire all of us. Best of all, it was a birthday gift that my entire family truly enjoyed sharing with me.
May this post help us see the precious blessings nature gives us everyday. I hope it will open our eyes as well as our hearts to the reality of its vulnerability. It is crying for a much-needed global rehabilitation and preservation. Earth is our home. How we choose to treat it today will reflect on what future we will all have tomorrow.
How do you wish to honor and celebrate our planet Earth today?
Thank you for sharing your day with me.
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For those who wish to join in this week’s challenge, here’s a link and the widget. Have a great time making wonderful memories.
Images taken using an iPhone 4 camera with Camera + App and Nikon 1 J1. My friends, have fun discovering and creating the most beautiful images everyday. They are a part of the unforgettable memories and events we make in this lifetime.
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