November 27, 2021

The Editor speaks: Beauty surrounds us

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Colin Wilson

The great 13th-century Persian poet,Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, more popularly known as Rumi, said “beauty surrounds us but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it”.

Our garden, or gardens, are our three Islands where we live.

 Last Saturday (8) I wasn’t feeling very happy – frustrated would be a better word. I had made the very bad decision to update our website to the new WordPress 5 Gutenberg. If you haven’t made the change DO NOT! Well, not until after the New Year when the perpetrators of this new editor get rid of the many bugs in it. Plus  we  need to find time to learn all the new paths to tread to find our way through a maze that was once so easy to navigate. After many hours I still haven’t found my way through.

After getting more and more perplexed I downed my tools and went outside.

Our house garden is not very big and there was little to quieten my mood down from even the beauty that was lying there. I needed a real ‘wow’ amount of beauty. The beauty I needed would be like a medical cure without a doctor’s prescription.

I did find the beauty I was looking for and it was all around me. My island, Grand Cayman, was the garden Rumi was telling me to walk in.

I drove my car, being too lazy to walk,and at first all I saw was buildings, people and traffic. Then I saw the sea, popping up occasionally through the gaps in the ever enclosing of high-rise condos and business premises. It seems every month that passes by more of the sea is lost to our view.

It was the sea that a voice was telling me to find. To look at and not necessarily swim in it. I hadn’t brought a swim suit with me, anyway, and I didn’t fancy driving back home in wet clothes and messing the car seats up.

My first call was near me. Only five minutes drive away was the North Sound. However, the spot where i finished up  was full of cars with trailers, boats and people. I moved on.

 I drove into George Town but was met with more noise coming from a ‘musical’ event that was even more jarring to my nerves and once again too many people who were definitely not interested in looking at the sea. They might just as well have staged the event using Mount Trashmore as the backdrop instead of the ocean.

 My next call was at The Governor’s Beach, but once again there was far too many people, swimming,eating, partying, etc. I sat in my car for almost half an hour,hoping for it to quieten down but alas it was not to be. A wedding had just commenced but the bride and her three (or was it four?) very young bridesmaids, all dressed in white and carrying beautiful flowers, did make me smile.They looked so happy.

 I drove west and missed the turn off to the Public Beach, that shows you how long since I have ventured there. I ended up at the West Bay cemetery that had two walkways on both sides to get to the beach.  Only a few cars were parked on the roadside  so I joined the other cars, parked and walked down to the beach.

 As soon as I was there I got the “WowFactor”. I was shocked at the beauty that lay not only before me but around. It took me a full minute to take it in.

 There were a few people swimming, and a few people sitting on the sand. Like me they were enjoying the glorious view of the ocean, the sky and watching intently the slow going down of the sun that set a sparkling pathway of glittering silver upon the sea. Words cannot describe the beautiful image that God had set before my eyes.

That was not all. The various shapes of the trees, their branches, their trunks and their roots  that adorned the beach. They, too, had their own distinct beauty.

I stood there, my back against a fence, for nearly an hour watching people walking slowly past me. There was a couple with a dog, and the dog stopping to do his/her business and the man actually scooping it up into a blue plastic bag. He passed by me as he dropped the bag into the garbage can near by and gave me a friendly smile. He even said, “Hullo.”

 I was now feeling a lot better. God’s medicine was doing its work.

 Finally, I heard a cheerful shout,“Hey, Colin!” Coming towards me was a man I haven’t seen in years. We spent the next half and some talking about his new story about a man who could see Duppies, and my new play I have started about the life of Judge Jeffreys aka “The Bloody Judge/The Hanging Judge”. We might have still been there now but his wife had got up and interrupted our discourse.

 I left in a much better mindset. For the first time in a very long time I had let my eyes stay open like a proper camera, remaining still while the image developed. My mind completely emptied of stress and frustration.

I only wish it will last but I do know the remedy. Maybe you might try it, too. There is much beauty surrounding us. It is free and priceless.

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