Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day photos of a perfect night in Yangshuo

Stars float in the dark velvety sky, music from a wooden reed flute hovers, rich and light; the notes float as I do too, in the pool. This is an idyllic, simple pleasure, no demands, just floating in time and space - timeless perfection.

Children giggle and splash in the nearby river, no distinct voices or words, just sheer, unadulterated joy in the perfect moment.

This place, not tied to any particular era is uniquely Chinese. Majestic karst mountains are silhouetted softly against the moonlit sky, deep valleys are a darker shade of blue-grey, the reed flute music is transient yet timeless - ancient, haunting, beautiful.

I could float in the warm water forever; it’s a perfect temperature and laps gently on my chin as I tickle the mirrored surface with my fingertips. The lazy breeze plays about my damp hair and face, warm and refreshing after the heat and gritty humidity of the day.

Lilting and trilling notes enfold me, transport me to times long gone, to my childhood fairy stories of an idealised China - of elegance, rich silks, harmony and balance.

Iridescent blue dragonflies appear briefly in the fingers of light to hover and dip, before being absorbed in the surrounding dark. Bright butterflies, (a night-time variety?) fleeting gems of colour, seem also to be drawn to the music.
Day variety of dragonfly.
Ghost gums, lithe limbed and sinewy stretch toward the moon and contrast strangely with the tall lush bamboo, which appears top heavy and arches gracefully towards the pool.
Ghost gums vie for height with drooping stands of bamboo.
I feel so fortunate to have experienced this perfectly balanced evening, but eventually pruned fingers and toes put a stop to my reverie.

What moments bring you joy? Do you remember to revisit them often?


Jan Morrison said...

all insanely beautiful. the dragonfly - I have no words for it.
I'm out of joy, have to borrow some of yours - let's hope it is like sourdough starter - then I'll bring you some back!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. that looks perfect - good for a week or two of spaced out wonder and recuperation period .. those Karst mountains are extraordinary aren't they ..

Is the landscape that much different from other countries? Karst must be very unusual ...

Ah - the wonders of lying in dappled shade in the middle of the Okavango Delta .. insects bustling around, birds flitting above in the high branches .. the odd splash of water - a lechwe perhaps .. a book in hand - but not for long as it comes crashing down and I just relax into the scene ...

Space and freedom miles from anywhere .. cheers Hilary

sue said...

Jan, it was hard to do the dragonflies justice, they came in many varieties and colours each seeming more spectacular than the last. So different to our drab ones.

Sorry to hear you're out of joy, I have plenty to share, so feel free to absorb as much as needed and get that starterdough happening again.

I was thinking of you last week when we were watching emu chicks (the teenager variety) being, well, very teenagerish. Very amusing and definitely designed to bring happiness.

Hi Hilary. 'spaced out wonder' covers it perfectly! My understanding is that karst mountains are evident throughout asia right down the line of the Philippines, but our guide insisted that these cover the greatest area. I think there are some in Europe too.

As usual after your visits I'm off to Mr Google to check out the Okavango Delta and a lechwe - the mind boggles ... is it a bird? an insect? a falling branch from a lechwe tree? or maybe an exotic lechwe drink falling from your relaxed grip?? Hope you're finding time for yourself, and all is going well for you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. thanks for the extra info re the Karst type mountains ..

I posted about the Okavango - and there's a brilliant TED video (BRILLIANT)- survival of our life itself ...

And three posts starting here .. with lots of pictures - including the antelope lechwe (Zambesi Lechwe) .. they have water resistant skin from the knees down - so can run through water quickly ..

So no not a bird, nor an insect, nor a delicious drink .. nor a dead branch .. but a dancing antelope!

Cheers - not much .. never seem to - but I'm on a vague even keel! Hilary

jabblog said...

Idyllic - the ghost gums look quite eerie against the green of the huge bamboos.
The karst against the water - beautiful.

sue said...

Hilary, thanks so much for the TED link. What an amazing presentation - I wonder if the world at large is able to listen?

jabblog, it was idyllic, and I feel so fortunate to have had these experiences.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - it is amazing isn't it! Gorgeous TED talk - with some eye opening aspects .. which I hope more people pay attention to ..

Anyone can watch it - as long as they know it's there .. you can post the link too if you like (not my post) ... but the TED talk bit ..

Cheers H

sue said...

Oh dear, Hilary, the problem is that I got totally distracted with your post, then the TED video, then the link to the next blog and the Steve Jobs tribute, then more from that blog, back to your post to try to find the extra info about the lechwe - which for some reason I couldn't find - then off to Amazon - why did I go there? purchased a book - oh yes that was from the TED link - How do you do all this and stay sane????? BTW love your comment somewhere - I think it was the first A-Z post about 'someone I blog with' I totally agree, it's a closed book to those who don't blog. Have a good day - thinking of you. Chores await...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. I know I do occasionally too - I have to be quite disciplined .. thankfully my mind is very good - lucky me ... as I not good at keep a notebook with notes in!

I think I stay sane - because I'm learning so much .. and probably don't do chores! But today I must tidy up .. papers for the blog never get done and dusted unfortunately ...

Yes - it is .. non-blogging people don't understand - even my sister-in-law telling my family that my mother said that and it is accurate .. Hilary recorded it on her blog - but they don't read it and can't be bothered to look - were suitably amazed.

Chores - another coffee first .. and some commenting ..

Cheers - for now - H