Stillness at Monte Bello

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The Santa Cruz Mountains in Monte Bello Open Space, California, showcase the epitome of stillness and peacefulness at sunset.

Sometimes, I feel dissatisfied with these Santa Cruz Mountains. I spent every summer of my childhood exploring the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, and on some days cannot prevent myself from comparing the two. The Appalachians are so much greener, so much more lush. There are a thousand times more rivers and creeks, and they flow year-round. There’s a waterfall around every turn. 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. Yet these mountains have different types of scenes to offer. And finally, I’ve begun to un-engrain the thought that all other mountain ranges should be the same way. On this 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.

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