Saturday, 14 January 2012

...And then suddenly, Home Again!

After nearly twelve hours of recuperative sleep, I seem to have some brain function back again. You can't really sleep on an aeroplane as the noise tends to keep those circuits in your brain that remain vigilant to threat, permanently on-guard. Sleep works in cycles of about four hours and any period of sleep shorter than that does not see you complete the full, necessary cycle of stages.
So, when I arrived at my hotel, this was the view:
And when I awoke next morning, this is what was revealed when the curtains were drawn back.I cannot express how glorious this view was. The camera really cannot do it justice. The distant Rocky Mountains shining in the morning sunlight were utterly breathtaking (though so was walking up stairs in that thin air). Their jagged ruggedness was softened to pink by the sunrise. It really was quite spectacular and imprinted itself upon my memory almost as vividly as on the CCD of the camera.
However, I would rather forget. The road journey up to Boulder...

And now I am home. And it is still somehow in my head. A day or so later I reflect upon this odd modern phenomenon of long-haul travel, making a journey of months into a tedious but relatively short "hop" across the World.

It seems in hindsight like the vastness of distance through which I traveled to get home from Denver was crossed in an instant. The mind is a bit like that: It tends to shorten times in which little happened (if you can call flying 5000 miles "little" but in truth, little took place in those ten hours or so.).
But in reality, it was a rather uncomfortable and tedious time spent mostly in a huge aluminium cyclinder.
Another idiosyncrasy is the clarity with which the view in front of my eyes at this time 36 hours ago can be called to mind as clearly as if I could walk to the curtains now, pull them aside and gaze out upon the mountains again. Probably this will fade in time, but for now I am grateful to retain this vista in my head, maintaining the horizon in my head the way a pair of boot-stretchers keep your footwear open sufficiently to still get your feet in after a time of neglect.

Today, I look out upon the soft, gentle scarp of the South Gloucestershire Cotswolds and very beautiful it is too. It is a reminder that beauty comes in different forms and familiarity seems to be the arbiter in general of which one we consider the most beautiful at any particular moment.
A useful thought if ever I bumped into one early on a Saturday morning.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Pete:
Welcome back home. What an amazing image you captured of the Rocky Mountains whilst on your American visit. We shall look forward to reading and seeing more.

But, as you say, there is something very special about the commonplace, the comfortable familiarity that one associates with home.

Librarian said...

Even if this may sound a little pathetic, the mountain panorama glowing so softly golden-pink in the morning sun is breathtakingly beautiful!
Thank you for posting it.

Kay G. said...

I did the same as you, arrived at night and pulled back the curtains the next morning. When I did, I immediately exclaimed, "Purple Mountain Majesty!", which is a line from the song "America" written by Katherine Lee Bates when she saw Pikes Peak.
Beautiful view, thanks for sharing it.

PerlNumquist said...

Well, had I clicked my Ruby heels together and exclaimed "There's no place like home!" it could not have been less miraculous or true. The view is quite beautiful in Colorado (and to say so is not pathetic at all! Daft bint!)
I do love the rolling valleys and hills the area around my home. It has its own beauty, albeit less wild and more cultivated. I remind myself occasionally that people come here for holidays.
The most astounding "curtain pulling" moment was when I arrived in Denver once at night and was whisked in the dark, dog-tired and half-awake to the Super 8 motel in Winter park. In the morning, i found myself in the HEART of these ENORMOUS and magnificent mountains that, at that point, I had never seen up close before. I was struck immobile for some moments.
Not familiar with the song. I shall seek it out on one of the many wonderful music-engines the internet offers. Thank you :-)

Kay G. said...

Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain...
For purple mountains majesty,
above the fruited plain,
America, America, God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea!
I think that this song should be the National Anthem, but then, nobody ever asks me.
(See, you could look it up, but why should you when you have someone like me who knows songs by heart?)
Oh, and my sister lived in Winter Park and we stayed there when the whole family flew out there from Georgia for her wedding in 1996.