The large wooden door simplistically adorned beckoned me to enter the deserted street. It was late in the evening; the glow of lamps cast a golden haze across the cobblestone pathway and archaic buildings. The stillness of the night was as profound as the smell of winter rainfall, lingering in the air. Walking along, I noticed the various cracks across the facade of buildings, a historical tapestry weaved from the renaissance to the present day. The scene was forlorn, yet it seemed as though the harsh passage of time could not entirely efface the beauty these stones, heralding a bygone era.
The climb up the steep and winding path was strenuous. Pausing briefly I surveyed the castle away in the distance, magnificently positioned in an elevated and defensible vantage point, reached only by a narrow and difficult route. “The king who once owned this castle chose his location wisely” I thought to myself. I paused for long moments surveyed the surroundings. Suddenly, I was plunged back centuries into the tales of my childhood. Tales of noble knights on heroic quests and beautiful maidens brought back childhood memories. I smiled to myself, a young boy’s dreams had suddenly come to life. Narrow cobblestone streets were surrounded on either side by old stone buildings. Beautiful coloured bouquets of flowers ordaining balconies, providing a striking contrast to the grey stone buildings complete with red tiled roofs. Cast iron lanterns and street signs, archaic cobblestone pathways and towering stone ramparts manifested a truly medieval experience.
Walking along the main thoroughfare of the old city I was acutely aware of the soft tapping of the sound of my footsteps on the archaic cobblestones. It was early morning and the streets were almost deserted. The city was old, decaying yet defiant in its timeless beauty, daring time to forget its relevance. Walking past a side street I paused and looked up narrow stairwell, straddled by tall red buildings. The colours were vibrant, and contrasted magnificently with the blue wooden door. Simplicity and elegance produced something beautiful to behold.
Entering off the main thoroughfare I entered an inconspicuous narrow corridor that opened up into a beautiful arcade. To my pleasant surprise it was deserted. The sound of traffic and hustle and bustle faded in the background. The contrast between modern and old was amazing to behold. As I walked slowly along the corridor, my footsteps echoed softly as I occasionally paused to admired the simplistic elegant beauty of this hidden treasure, almost hesitant to make any noise to dispel my reverie.
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)