Jesse H Jones Park and Nature Center
Jesse H Jones Park and Nature Center is one of the many parks operated by Harris County Precinct 4. This North Houston park is located off 1960, about five miles northeast of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
During our first visit to the park, sometime in 2006, I was most interested in seeing the area bordering Spring Creek. I remember making our way down a narrow path to a large area of white, fine-grained sand. The unexpectedness of it stuck with me. Since then, I’ve often thought of returning but, unfortunately, that wouldn’t happen until after Hurricane Harvey passed through, carving out great swaths of forest along the bank of Spring Creek.
There was a time when I would have considered such a devastated landscape an ugly thing. With age, I think we all grow more accepting of blemishes. The damaged landscape Harvey left behind is not aesthetically beautiful, and yet… standing in the middle of a chaotic tangle of shattered trees, you can’t help but feel something. Awe, at the sheer power of it all. Sadness, naturally, at the devastation. Gratitude at seeing a solid line of trees further inland. The forest still standing.
This is the true power of the natural environment. It makes us reflect. It teaches us lessons about starting over. It may never look the same, and it may take longer than we like, but life is an unstoppable force. There are lessons to learn here, and there will be for a long time to come.