Appreciation and Noticing Beauty

This was exactly what I needed after feeling so bogged down by the cloudy weather lately and mindlessly going about my college life. I didn’t really think about it, but I just grabbed my bike and rode. Somehow, I ended up at Wash Park pedaling along the path in the opposite direction. I thought it was going to rain because the clouds were a mix of dark gray and blue, but instead of pedaling faster, I squeezed my brakes and looked ahead of me. I witnessed the greatest contrast between the yellow and red fall foliage and the mystical, dark clouds.

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Although I had only brought my cell phone and room key in my pocket, I decided I had the perfect natural lighting to take some awesome pictures of the park. It really didn’t matter what I took the pictures with because a) the view would always be better in person anyway, and b) the sky and the trees were so vibrant that any camera could capture at least a glimpse of this beauty. While staring across the pond at the mountains peeking through the trees, I started to wonder how much snow just fell over those peaks. My guess was at least half a foot, but then again, I’m not too familiar with the Rocky Mountains’ weather agenda.

Not only was I pondering on what it would be like to be up in the mountains watching that snow fall, but I also began to realize how colorful this park was becoming. Every shade of red, orange, yellow, and green was staring me right in the face, and all I had the power to do was stare right back in awe.

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Longing for more opportunities to observe in the midst of these breathtaking views, I decided to seek comfort on a bench along the shore of the farthest pond. While enjoying this rare chance I had to relax and soak up my natural surroundings, I recognized the lack of pedestrians lingering around the park today–perhaps they were convinced it was about to storm as well. Anyway, it was kind of relieving to not be surrounded by other humans. On this visit, I felt the greatest connection to the environment I have thus far. Maybe it was because I needed to get away from campus and just reflect on my past thoughts, or maybe it was the weather. Either way, I was finally appreciating the beauty that was just a mile away from my new home, and I was finally expressing my gratitude toward it.

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Written & Photographed by Abbey Churchill, WLLC 2015-2016

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