In The Belly of Beauty

Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana in the waters of El Cabo San Juan


Walking toward the cliff-top cabana in the thick of the night, feet sinking with each stride into the sand between two tides, with only a small flashlight to guide my steps, I stopped to look at the moon as she sat placidly curled in the inky sky.  The waves were voraciously licking the land, each tide pounding with its own rhythm; both colluding to emit a wild symphony heightened to wondrous delight by the colourful call of the not-so-distant jungle. Then suddenly, the fires of skies revealed themselves to me; erupted before my eyes as if leaping out of  hiding: pulsating stars like gleaming jewels sewn into stygian silk fell into my ken. I swear I could hear the wavering balls of gas laugh, as Saint-Exupéry had promised. Oh how they cackled an gurgled and giggled and guffawed, those stars strewn in the ether. And oh,the ephemeral ecstasy of that everlasting moment; I was in the belly of beauty.

In media res. That’s how El Cabo San Juan del Guia in Tayrona National Park made me feel. There is a sense, the minute one plunges one’s feet into the warm sand of this monolithic beach, having just traversed the jungle in the unforgiving sun to do so, that one is in the middle of things; in the middle of earthiness, in the very middle of beauty. A recent trip to Colombia afforded me the opportunity to see this blistering expanse of earth: El Cabo is the ultimate destination of a trek through  the park.  Once on the beach, jungle, mountain, flora and fauna frame one edge of your perspective and limpid emerald ocean crushing against rock and sand fills the rest . By day the beach is colourful and joyous; by night it is dense and dramatic, lit solely by lunar luminescence and those soul-stirring stars…and then there is dusk…
Waking up in my hammock to the majestic sunrise over the ocean, I was indeed in awe. I felt a renewed connection the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The Windhover”. Sure, he was waxing lyrical about a bird in flight. But certainly, the feeling inspired by watching a falcon “[ring] upon the rein of a wimpling wing” and “[rebuff] the big wind” cannot be too much unlike that borne of witnessing the choreography of the ocean on a stage of stone, lit by a swelling incandescence, can it? Surely, a “heart in hiding” can be “stirred for” a sunrise.
Nearing the end of our ride through the undulating jungle
El Cabo San Juan del Guia
“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – EM Forster
A favourite sweatshirt by French-Swedish male sportswear brand, Ron Dorff, was the anodyne to the morning chill
Sunrise Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana
Birds at Sunrise
5 feet of Natural Sculpture

About Natasha

Word- and dough-smith. Girl in search of "the illumination, that ecstatic flash, from which truth emerges".

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