"The mountains are calling and I must go." ~ John Muir
The mountains have been calling my name this year. Loudly. But there really aren't any mountains nearby this prairie I call home. None that I can escape to for just the weekend anyway. However, just a short(ish) drive south of Dallas, is the gorgeous Hill Country of Central Texas.
So recently, I loaded the car with a backpack, tent and several gallons of water and headed out to escape the city for a few days.
Let's be honest, I have just about zero stress in my life. I'm a very happy Pink Girl; I got no complaints. Not a one. But as I get farther down 35, I can feel my shoulders relaxing, my heart rate slowing and my smile growing even wider. The Texas Hill Country makes my heart sing. Every time.
After hiking for a few miles with all my gear on my back, in the pouring rain no less, then pitching our tent in just the right spot, we set out to explore Pedernales Falls at sunset.
There really isn't much more lovely than a sunset, is there? The soft pinks and yellows of the fading day, quickly sinking below the horizon, framed by a brilliant blue sky, all to the soundtrack of the rushing river. I sat there in disbelief, how did I get to be so lucky? So lucky to experience this, this magnificent display of nature.
Nighttime meant drifting off in the black of night, the sky pierced by millions and millions of brilliant stars. Stars. I don't see those much in the city. But out here, they are endless, sparkling like diamonds tossed about on a velvet display. An owl, provided a gentle lullaby, accompanying the frogs who were so cheerfully croaking. I'm absolutely certain I was smiling as I faded from consciousness, exhausted from the day.
Morning bought miles and miles of hiking, swimming among the fishes, turtles and dragonflies, and exclaiming, about a thousand times, "Isn't this just great?"
There aren't enough superlatives to describe the feeling of climbing to the top of a hill and overlooking the Texas horizon, the silence nearly deafening. Is this sky really this blue? Are the clouds really this white? Is the world really this perfect?
In Texas it is. Heaven, right here on Earth. Or it sure can be if you look for it.
Eventually we returned home, back to reality. The city isn't so bad, even if there are fewer stars and snakes. But I'm committed to getting back and soon. Back to that beauty, that peace, that serenity.
It's good for the soul.
"Everybody needs beauty, as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul." ~John Muir
Where do you go when you want to get away?