I felt so small.
On the edge of the forest, standing in the gravel, in the pitch black, shivering as the night air brushed by, I looked up.
Sparkling stars sprinkled the dark canvas, which was rendered a royal purple by the soft, delicate splash of cream.
The Milky Way.
I inhaled the soft scent of pine and grass, and the gravel crunched between my toes as I tugged the blanket tighter around me. I savored the silence, drinking in the vast skies, a feast, a symphony for the eyes. This is what wonder feels likes.
You are confronted with vastness, you acknowledge your smallness, and you accept both. You are unable to comprehend the sheer beauty that engulfs you, but you allow it to consume you and quiet you.
The colors are vivid, as vibrant and intense as a Friedrich painting, but no photograph does any scene justice. The paintings, even, are shamed by the experience of seeing the golden light peek between the trees at sunset; the lake awash in pink, champagne mist at sunrise; and the endless valleys and plateaus flooded with regal trees and feathery grass.
The waters hush you, the waterfalls spray violently, and the rivers flow and bubble exuberantly; hot springs run down the mountains, joining the rivers.
And, despite the fact that it is summer, the thunder rolls and the clouds darken; lighting fires and illuminates the mountains in the distance. It rains the refreshing, romantic, out-of-place rain that makes you want to dance joyfully in the meadow, arms open wide and hair flying.
You close your eyes, take a breath, say goodbye, and know that somehow, you’ll be back.