“Beach OR Mountains?” They ask you once you express your love for nature.
“Mountains!” I always reply in the same breath.
Every creation of nature, small or big, beautiful or ugly, has its own enchantment and appeal, there is no denying that… but, I have always had this soft corner towards mountains as against the beaches.
In the heights of the mountains, I feel at home, in the lap of the hills, I feel secure. I just cannot get enough of watching those mammoth peaks talking to the clouds smoothly sailing over; the passions in the depths of the valleys fascinate me no end. People prefer watching the sunset at a beach, but for me, the sun hiding behind that enormous mountain make for one perfect painting on the canvas of the sky.
I admire the beauty of the beaches and as a nature photographer, am well aware of how gorgeous beach images can look. But somehow, I don’t feel high-spirited in front of an ocean. Being at a beach always fills my heart with a strange, unexplainable void.
My wandering soul – always successful in finding something photogenic in any given place, comes to a halt all of a sudden every time I stand in front of an ocean.
There, perhaps my mind becomes calm but the rebel heart of mine becomes uneasy, sinking into those infinite looking waters, assuming a silence – which sometimes, grows deafening.
My eyes starts searching for unknown, scanning the vast breadths and lengths of the ocean, only to come to a discomposed standstill at the horizon. Perhaps it is that photographic eye of mine that keeps playing tricks on my heart there.
Possibly, the color-rich, engaging fabric of the mountains keeps me content in terms of the compositional variety of my photographs. Whatever be the reason, beaches had never made me experience that euphoria within that I feel at mountains.
However it occurred once, when for a brief moment, I actually got a crush on the ocean, something that had not been successful to woo me before. And I am glad about the defeat! Nature can make us discover spaces and loves in ourselves we don’t even know exist. Shakespeare said,
In nature’s infinite book of secrecy,
A little I can read.
It was well past evening, dark, and so for the first time ever, I bothered to listen to the ocean more than to look at it. I watched the radiant trails of the moon-beam being scattered by the waves of the ocean. When reaching the shore, those waves smashed on to the beautiful pebbles lying on the beach and generated a carefree music of their own.
I realized how much deceiving the plain appearance of an ocean can be when I listened to its songs. Those songs were rebellious, unbothered, liberating!
I felt so delighted, I could not complain the least …after all, it was the very first time when I met the ocean and found it to be just like me too… it was actually like discovering a like-minded friend in an acquaintance after knowing them for a long time.
As the moments passed, I sensed myself savoring the unique, airy, oceanic smells of the waves…For the first time ever, the ocean did not suffocate me and I was not restless at a beach. For once, my heart felt settled there, for once, I wanted to be there… a little more…
God is too big for just one religion. And if nature is God, which, for me, at least is, how can I confine myself to just one religion, dwelling in a familiar territory forever… That way, I will never get lost.
And I want to get lost… may be, to find myself.
To have a look at some of the beach and mountain photography by me, go here.
Copyright © 2011 Gyaneshwari Dave