Unexpected Beauty

What is it that we seek? A brief moment of sublime beauty would be enough.  It might be in the reactions of others, it might simply be a reaction to the world around us doing what it does and the fact that we call it beautiful is to do with our reactions to it, whatever stirs our heart or warms our soul.  What then is it?  Definition is difficult, but there is something to be said about a moment of gentleness when what we see or feel or hear comes together in a special harmony as if the world itself is singing just for us.  Best of all these moments come upon us unexpectedly when we are not looking for them, all we can do  is stop and try to take them in.  Sometimes if we are very lucky we are just in  their path. A Narnian moment, out running in the hills. Running familiar paths, up a steep incline through the wooded hills. The sun was late to rise, as is it’s wont at this time of the year.  Solar powered, I rose with it, but today it was well timed.  I came out from under the trees into what seemed like a gateway to a different world.  No lamp-post, but a familiar clearing at the top of a waterfall cascading down. Somewhere I’ve been many times and been glad to arrive at the top of the steep incline, but today just high enough for the snow to begin to blend into the path ahead of me. The trees and rocks on the steep cliff above reflect back the glistening morning sun in their shroud of snow. I hadn’t noticed until now, there were no clouds in the sky at all, not one.  The low sun glows orange onto the blue-white, enough to make me stop in my tracks.  At these moments I always think about a camera, but somehow the moments are better without as you get them to yourself allowing time to reflect rather than to desperately capture the moment.  From then on the run changed from exercise into something else, magical, spiritual, special, whatever, it was shared with the rabbits, the squirrels and the birds following their ghosts in footsteps in the snow as they danced along the path. Rabbit footprints run ahead of me, tumble into each other, then chase off into the trees.  Fistfuls of snow at the end of high branches are lit up by the shining sun as if early blossom has burst its colour into the scene. I stopped to listen to the sound of silence, almost no sound, save for the occasional branch relieving itself of snow. The crisp white blanket insulating, soaking up the sounds so that everything was muted into a depth of quiet.  On the edge of hearing a low breath sound of nature itself.  At times like this, away from news, media, and the rest of the world it is easy to believe there is nothing wrong.  And I’d like to say, into that cacophony of noise that there isn’t anything wrong. It’s just that we – humans are finding it difficult to listen and pay attention in adapting to our new environment, be that with a pandemic, or more concerning climate change. We’re finding out what nature is like.  But nature too, can bring us back to ourselves, we only need to pay attention and look out for those moments around us.