Friday, 25 June 2010

Beautiful moments

I've recently come across two amazing short  films. They've both gotten a lot of hits on YouTube. Despite the very different subject matter in each I see a lot of similarities between them.

The movies are: Nuit Blanche  and Embrace Life

In both of them I see the capturing of a beautiful moment that is all about love. Although the contexts are different the natures of the moments are fundamentally similar, tapping into our attraction to beauty in its many forms and awakening or touching our desire to both love and be loved. Something I see as being part of the core of our higher nature.

When I first watched  Embrace Life I found myself with tears running down my face. Both of these films left me feeling a profound sense that the people in my life that I love are the most precious gift I could possibly have.

With so much ugliness in the world that it often seems overwhelming, expressions of wonder and beauty like this are a breath of fresh air and do much to restore my faith in the goodness of life. Something I hope to have till the day I die is an undimmed sense of wonder and films like this make it very easy. For some reason watching these films also reminded me of a gorgeous day I spent (ironically a day spent by myself) enjoying some of the beauty that the world has to show us, hidden away in out of the way places.

I recently had some time in Tasmania and took the opportunity to spend some while in a beautiful place called Mt. Field National Park. It's a place I remember visiting when I was a teenager and have always wanted to return to. Not wanting to waste the day I hauled myself out bed early on a frosty Sunday morning determined to make the most it.

On the way there, I was anxious to reach my destination when, driving along a picturesque winding road, I was confronted with scene of storybook beauty seemingly out of nowhere...

The clean, crisp sharpness of the country air, the frost blanketing everything with a pale shimmering translucence and the mist sitting gently on the pastures all combined to create a vista of wonder.

The slowly meandering river was mesmerizing and I felt as I had stepped into another world.

Even something a simple as a few reeds standing resolutely in the frosty ground had a folorn beauty that touched the heart.

I lost track of time for a while just enjoying the moment and taking a lot of photographs. To say I was feeling uplifted would be a masterpiece of understatement. I was also sharply reminded of the importance of the journey rather than the destination. There is often far more to be learned, experienced and felt on the road than on arrival.

For the rest of the journey to the National Park I was just as oblivious to the passage of time as I enjoyed the passing of one lovely scene after another.

Driving into the Mt.Field National Park brought back a lot of memories, albeit fairly faded ones. It had been many years since I had last visited this part of the world.

The thing that struck me most when I arrived was the overwhelming sense of the richness of the thick green blanket of life that made up the rain forest. Seemingly infinite shades of colour merged in the morning air with the birdsong and an almost imperceptible breeze that lazily stirred the leaves into a barely discernible rustle.

Walking into the forest brought with it the relief of detachment from the outside world. The rich melange of life quickly became everything, almost creating a surfeit for the senses that embraced the heart and soul in a profoundly uplifting sense of wonder. Looking around me I was amazed at the colours and diversity of life. It seemed that every little corner of the forest, every nook and cranny, was filled with life. The never-ending medley of greens was overlayed with glorious splashes of colours that lit up the forest. The intermittent shafts of sunlight that broke through the canopy only serving to highlight the fabulous array of life surrounding me.

Everywhere I looked I saw something to delight the eyes. From the trees and ferns to the mosses covering so much of the ground, to the mushrooms whose burgeoning life and endless variety of form and colour were a mute yet eloquent testament to the cycle of life I was waking through.

A little further on I came to the "Tall Trees Walk". The staggering size of these trees almost dwarfs the imagination. At first glance it seems somehow impossible that life can be so large. The majesty of these trees is undeniable and humbling. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't seem to get a photograph that adequately portrays the reality.

Dotted here and there throughout the park are gorgeous sites that irresistably draw a smile simply because they are so beautiful. The little streams bubbling through the undergrowth, the wallabies, caught momentarily unawares before bounding gracefully into invisibility in the background of the forest, the birds flitting frenetically from tree to tree, or simply sitting and filling the air with sounds that ranged from a raucous cacophony to heart-rendingly beautiful.

To a degree I've rarely experienced before I was deeply aware that life really is beautiful.