Stillness at Monte Bello
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve
Sometimes, I feel dissatisfied with these Santa Cruz Mountains. I spent every summer of my childhood exploring the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina, and on some days cannot prevent myself from making comparisons. Those Appalachians are so much greener – so much more lush. The rivers and creeks are a thousand times more numerous, and flow year-round. There's a breathtaking waterfall around every turn. It's taken a while for me to unengrain the thought that all other mountain ranges should be the same way. The Santa Cruz Mountains of California are much drier, with green grasses and shimmering moss confined to only a few months per year. Most of the creeks are seasonal, too, and I can almost count the number of waterfalls on my hands. But these mountains have different types of scenes to offer. On this piercingly peaceful sunset in Monte Bello Open Space, my mind was devoid of comparisons, and I counted these mountains among the most beautiful places on Earth.