Sometimes the path is just too straight and predictable, and the goal too clear. We need the surprises of twists and turns and the mysteries of hills and valleys.
Have you ever had the experience of walking through a sun-drenched landscape and suddenly seeing it being dulled by the build-up of storm clouds on the horizon? The light remains, but it gradually becomes filtered through an ominous grey and you find yourself between two worlds, a kind of a twilight zone with something of the colour drained out of it. It has often happened to me and each time I’ve found it to be such an enchanting experience. The image above was such a moment while walking in the fields near Horton Kirby in Kent. Also, there’s just something about a dead tree against the background of fierce and threatening storm clouds.
Standing in front of Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home, and looking across the Kent landscape towards the Southern coastal region of England. One of those moments where I was once again overwhelmed by the beauty and expansiveness of the scene before me. I was reminded of the words of Carl Sagan: “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
This dead tree always looks like a sentinel standing at the entrance of the barley fields. Whenever I pass it on my way to the woods on the right of this image, the old soldier in me wants to salute it. I love these fields which have produced crops and harvests year after year. They together with the skies of Kent give me a wonderful sense of spaciousness and freedom.
The Boabab tree dots the African landscape. To the local peoples, these magnificent trees are seen to be retainers of the memories of the ancestors. There is a sanctity about them. Their branches always remind me of hundreds of fingers reaching out and trying to clutch the sky. I love sketching and drawing them.
Another shot of our visit to Scotney Castle. Loved this scene of the old castle.
This morning I was in the presence of what I can only describe as an overly exuberant person. Being more on the introverted side of things, encounters like these test my patience. I can’t join in because of my sense of incongruence, and a deadened response to it is just plain bad manners. So I find myself, at times, in these rather uncomfortable and in-between places. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve mastered a subtle and measured form of enthusiasm, which I reserve specifically for these encounters. I applied it in this case and it served me well.