Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bridging Austin

I take an occasional walk along the 10 mile hike and bike trail edging Lady Bird Lake in Austin, our state capital, where the official unofficial slogan is "Keep Austin Weird".  

It's a good kind of weird, the kind that makes you say to yourself, "I could live here."  Austin is the only community in Texas that is a certified wildlife habitat, a designation referring to birds and critters, not music festivals, another locally prevalent form of wildlife. 

One of my favorite features is a pedestrian/bike bridge across the lake.  It speaks of a town where individuals are as important as the masses.






I usually stop mid-center to look at the water.  Ducks and water birds flock in winter, cliff-swallows fly in summer.  

And the UT rowing team practices year-round.  I like the idea that our lives leave eddies.



One cold morning not long ago, I looked up as I walked onto the bridge and saw a barefoot, nightgown-clad girl perched on the rail.  My heart jumped. I ran.  How to save her?  After a few steps I saw the photographer and stylists.



Looking south from the walkers' bridge, pedestrians see a bridge for trains,  decorated with illegal and truly Austin graffiti:
   
Life Is Change 
Be Flexible 

And:  
Focus One Point 
and 
Breathe 


Graffiti for the walker's soul. 



At about the mid-point of the bridge a Ghost-Bike is chained to the rail, a memorial to Royce Scott McCoy from his loving family, and a reminder to share the road. 





An end and a beginning, this spiral garden links the bridge to the bustle of downtown, an Austin amen to the necessity of nature in our lives.

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
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