I woke up this morning and thought, okay, it’s time to move. It’s my 6th day here, making this just about my longest stay in a state park. I’ve visited the little beach around the corner a few times every day, and I’ve walked along the road toward the front of the park every morning. I was getting tired of it. Yesterday was cold and grey and I turned back when I started to feel raindrops, so I was decidedly unenthusiastic about doing the same walk one more time.

An hour later, I was in love with Galveston again.

It’s sunny.

And it’s so beautiful.

This morning instead of walking all the way toward the front of the park, we turned off on a road that we’d been on once before. But after we hit our normal walk length, the point where I would usually decide it was time to turn around, we kept going. I found a trail that led into the park and we took it and walked out into the grasses.

It was a half mile loop, so nothing too long, but it included a stand to climb up, so you could look out over the expanse and a bridge over one of the shallow inlets. I feel like inlet is the wrong word, but I don’t think it was a river. This area of the park (the bay side) is the coastal wetlands, so I think the water ebbs and flows through all of the land, and the shallower areas stay wet. But maybe it was a river. It was water. With lots of white birds stalking around and floating in it.

I didn’t take any pictures that remotely do it justice—the sun was too bright, the birds too far away. Plus, of course, photos can’t capture the air, the smells, the sounds. But the picture at the top is the closest I could come. Pretty sure those are snowy egrets. Absolutely sure that they were beautiful. On the other side of the bridge, there were dozens of birds, but they all turned into dark spots against the rising sun. They were beautiful, too.

Right now I’m sitting in Serenity with the screen door open. B is on the floor, in the sunny patch by the door. A little while ago, a starling was sitting on the picnic table squawking at him. Starlings definitely squawk. There’s a little tree—maybe even a tall shrub—outside my window, and a bird that I’m going to guess is a common yellowthroat (why, yes, I did download a bird ID app, why do you ask?) is flitting back and forth around it. Not building a nest, but it’s got a branch that it keeps revisiting. And I am pretty sure that a hawk of some sort, probably red-tailed, just glided by.

In a lot of ways, I’m still getting used to living in Serenity. I’m still finding ways to make life easier, things to change. I bought $20 of tupperware a few weeks ago and threw out all the random pieces of tupperware I had, so that now my tupperware all stacks. It felt so wasteful and it sounds so trivial, but wow, what a lovely difference to not have leftover dishes falling on my head when I open the cupboard. On the same extravagant day, I bought liquid soap and threw away my bar soap and its holder. Bar soap is just not worth the effort; it gets too messy. I’ve finally figured out where it’s best to keep my toothbrush, at least for now. (Inside a cup, in the medicine cabinet.) I think I’m even finally getting the hang of washing dishes in a single sink while using the least possible amount of water.

But one of the trickiest things to figure out is how long to spend in any one place. Traveling too fast is so disruptive that I get no writing done. Traveling too slow and the van starts to feel like a trap. But I think I may have mixed up traveling too slow with staying in the wrong places. Two weeks in a campground where my view is other people’s sewer lines and our morning walks are along rows of trailers may be very, very different from two weeks in a place where six days in I can still be surprised by beauty.