The clicking sound of footsteps echoed distinctly within the almost deserted arcade. A long glass ceiling contrasted against the chequered floor. The blend of classical architecture in perfect symmetry was beautiful to behold. . Slowly, the smell of freshly roasted coffee, permeated by the conversation of people enjoying the simplicities of life pierced my reverie. Slowly, I became aware of the various cafes, restaurants and artisan shops manifesting the vibrancy European culture that stretched out before me.
Passing through the heart of a city, I was suddenly inundated with a mélange of buildings, advertisements, clamour of traffic, smell of food stalls and rush of people from all walks of life, unfolding before my very eyes. The various expressions on people’s’ faces, especially those sprawled on the pavement evoked a pang of compassion making me reflect “I’d love to know that person’s life story”. Looking around while dodging the constant stream of people, I was captivated by the classical architecture that seemed to silently stand out, marked by stark simplicity and elegant beauty. Walking in the midst of the city I came across an arcade, formed by an honour guard of Classical Grecian columns adorned with a domed roof of the Renaissance period. In the distance a waiter was preparing tables for the forthcoming day. I could envisage people sitting in the cafe, chatting over coffee and hugging their cup for warmth on this cold winter day.
Passing through the crowd of people, I calmly walked between the noisy throng, gravitating towards an open space permeated by light. Suddenly, I saw a tower reaching skywards towards a magnificent dome surrounded within an embrace of steel and glass. The sight was both spectacular and strange. The colossus, so tall and strong, seemed striking yet misplaced. I found myself standing in awe. The vibrancy and complexity of civilisation manifested within the architectural themes of cities never ceased to amaze me. It seems that cities continually redefine themselves in their own unique way. The sculptors that provide the energy behind this change are the various people throughout history leaving their influences as determined by the cultural forces at play.
My footsteps echoed ever so softly as I mounted the stairs lightly upon the rich woollen carpet that graced the long hallway and staircase. Turning around I glanced at the winding stairwell, an artwork of symmetry and classical elegance. Before me, the sophistication of European flair, manifested itself powerfully in a masterful combination of architectural forms. I paused deeply in thought, yearning for a bygone era, to experience that which only existed within my childlike imagination.
Ascending the steep and difficult path winding path, I finally reached the opposite cliff face after having passed through spectacular forests, bushland and a river which wound its way through a tapestry of grassland, disappearing into the horizon. Continuing along the cliff, the route eventually plateaued and evolved into coastal headland. I stopped in awe at the majestic scenery. Windswept plains eventually gave way to steep cliffs, comprising colossal stacks and boulders of weathered red granite, that plunged into the vast ocean depths. Massive waves fanned out across the ocean, as far as the eye could see, while the chorus of winds heralded the gathering of storm clouds, wove a majestic tapestry magnificent to behold. I looked out past the forested cliff to the seacoast and vast mysterious ocean. Standing upright, the wind buffeted me wildly wrapping around my body in a rough embrace. I cried out in exhilaration, rejoicing at the beauty of Creation, outstanding beautiful and awesome to behold. I thought “It’s great to be alive”.
Solemnly approaching the cliff edge, I was acutely aware of my insignificance, a lone figure surrounded by the vast expanse of Heaven. The silence had a depth that merely enhanced the tapestry of profound beauty that lay before me. Wisps of wind gently caressed my face as I gazed yonder awestruck. There are times when mere words are unable to reflect reality. Somehow Dostoyevsky’s words “Beauty will save the World”, reflecting a loving God as manifested in the majestic beauty and gift of Creation resonated with vivid clarity. All that is required is purity of heart, born of humility and love for such words to penetrate the depths of ones heart and soul
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (John 8:12)
There are brief but cherished moments in ones life whereby one rejoices in the sheer beauty of Creation. Precious moments, pure in essence, filled with awesome power, that manifest a loving God, allowing the psalmist’s words to penetrate the depths of ones soul.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)