turn back for beauty

nicasio-arcContrail Arcs Above Black Mountain – Nicasio Valley Road

Saturday morning fog rises slowly all along the Bay Area. At 55mph I notice in passing the radiant swathe of fog at left drifting off Nicasio Reservoir. I breath in the beauty, conflicted. Reaching the end of the road, I turn around. I am compelled to turn back. I must go back and frame this splendor. The dichotomy of land, suddenly green from the first winter rains, against brilliant azure sky awash with a calligraphy of clouds. The serpentine form of fog almost passed across the water’s surface. This mirror marks the memory, paints a portrait of elements: earth and air. The first panel of Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Deights comes to mind with its complementary blue-green creation scene. Artists and writers ponder on the surreal images of Bosch. In her book LEAP, Terry Tempest Williams raises the possibility that we are actually still in the Garden of Eden, that the story of Adam and Eve, the final panel of Bosch’s triptych, those are the cautionary tales. I would agree. Every effort that we make to frame the beauty, to appreciate the gift, is one step toward averting the tragedy of the loss of this Eden. National Geographic and Leonardo Dicaprio frame the importance of turning back for beauty in the documentary Before The Flood. Turn back for beauty,…as often as possible. It may very well be our saving grace.

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