Paradise.

Have you found a magical place? A place that knocks you so hard with its beauty that your world seems to stop, to vanish.  And for a short time, this place entirely consumes you. It becomes impossible to be anywhere but here and in the now.

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Shongalolo!

“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate and though I oft have passed them by, a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run West of the moon, East of the sun.”

– J. R. R. Tolkien

Exploring

We had no idea where this path would lead. It started off with a rickety bridge and a stream sliding over slippery rocks.  It meandered through tea fields and dipped through streams and pockets of pristine forest. Ancient trees towered over us while we clambered up and down hills like ants in a garden.  Our senses exploded; the song of birds, the crisp mountain air, and the view lit with a soft morning light. And with that, the hungry curiosity of what might be around the next corner?

We couldn’t turn back, not now!

Explore ii

In the distance, we heard another trickling stream and like moths to the light, we marched on – ever curious of the secrets that lie hidden, waiting for discovery.

And BOOM! We find it, that unexpected place so beautiful, a place you never knew existed. There is no time for an introduction; it’s fast, all-consuming and it’s yours for now. It’s love at first sight.

Water art

Forest stream

” The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir

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We stopped in our tracks, breathless and in awe of what lay before us. A stream that cascaded over giant mossy boulders, waterfalls, ferns, deep pools, caves and trees that arched and bent their branches protectively over this precious and rare habitat. It was a place so enchanting, a place that silenced the modern world and whispered truths into our open ears. It sang a song so pure, it bought tears to my eyes.

Waterfall

Cave

We climbed, we swam, we built rock pools and we quenched our thirst with the clean mountain water. We sat quietly and listened. We immersed ourselves in the moment, attempting to take in every minute detail; the lush hues of green, the calming sound of trickling water and the huge boulders that lay strewn in the riverbed like silver marbles. Not for a moment could I take this experience for granted or could I forget this magical place that breathed peace and tranquility into my very soul.

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Drink water

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake

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Paradise pool

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And for many glorious hours, time was forgotten and had no place in this world.

But very slowly, crept in a familiar sound – the grumble of hungry children’s tummies! It grew louder and louder until we could ignore it no longer. Peeling our eyes away from this paradise with kids in hand, we turned around and began our walk back home. We swore we’d return. But with a picnic basket!

And on our walk home, not far from paradise, we heard another familiar sound emerging from the forest. The nonchalant chatter of humans and the steady grinding of a saw…

And I wonder to myself, ‘how long will it be until this paradise has gone too?’

Sawing hard wood trees

“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.” – Kahlil Gibran

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