Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Intoxicating Beauty

I went out in search of a sunset to photograph. What I found was so much more. Actually, if the truth be told, I didn't find it. It found me. It started with the unexpected surprise of a stand of wild purple iris. Backlit by the setting sun they were startlingly beautiful. And then I walked further down the trail, just to see what the sunset might offer in the way of a photo opportunity. What I found instead was a lilac bush in full and glorious bloom. And then behind me was a flowering tree of some sort - I have no idea what kind and it doesn't matter in the slightest. What matters is that its beauty tipped the balance. My sense of beauty came fully awake. The floodgates of my heart were completely open. All I could manage to do was turn around and around in a circle and everywhere I looked was more beauty - the crescent moon hanging high in the sky, the orange afterglow of the setting sun, the contrails of two passing jets, the yellow balsamroot flowers, the river flowing by. Everywhere I looked was overwhelming beauty. The veil had momentarily been lifted and I was seeing the world as it really is. I could barely catch my breath. It was an extraordinary and intoxicating "thin place" experience and I am still feeling the after-effects. This is what it is to be alive and I am grateful. In the words of e.e.cummings - "i thank you God for most this amazing day . . ."