I came across this creek as I wandered around Austin earlier this year. I was walking through a residential neighborhood on my way from Point A to Point B, and decided to delay my arrival by just a few minutes so I could stop and stare. For some reason the creek captured my attention, and then my imagination. I thought about what it must have been like to wander the area before it was full of subdivisions and beer gardens. It made me imagine what it would have been like to move west to Texas from another part of the U.S., eager to explore and lay down new roots. Something about that creek felt magical to me, and transported me back to an earlier time. It’s weirdly easy to forget that all the land we see around us was empty at some point. That our city blocks were once pure nature. That our highways were once open land. Especially for someone who grew up in well-developed suburbia and now lives in a well-developed city. It’s nice to remember that our neighborhoods weren’t always so plotted and constructed and bustling. Sometimes it’s nice to step back to a time when the land was more raw, the area less developed, the nature less disturbed. Sometimes it’s nice to stop your quest from Point A to Point B and just stop, reflect, and enjoy.
So I stood there, staring at this creek, thinking about discovery and nature and the beauty of contemplation. And then I went on my merry way down the street, back to the world of vintage stores and food trucks and music halls.