Are the beauties of the world slowly being lost to the memory of history? The way the sky looks at six in the morning, the feeling of the morning air upon the cheeks? How many minutes does it take to walk from the front door to the nearest train station that takes you to work? For the sake of argument, lets call it ten minutes. No matter where one lives there should be something to look upon with a wonder, especially during the quiet, early morning hours. If strewn in front of you there is the streets, filled with all the awful things they can offer at times, there is thankfully still the sky to look into. The sun does shine in the rougher parts neighbourhoods of the world. There are houses somewhere with no front doors, a roof barely hanging to the plywood its somewhat nailed upon; with a dusty, dry road for a front yard, but still there is that sky. Still there is the people. There is something I was once taught a long time ago, by an old man, who told me the best way to get out of a bad day or simply a foul mood, was to take a look around me. “Just look”, he said. He didn’t say much more and over the course of my life since then, I’ve come up with an evolving theory about what he meant, as he never truly told me the reason behind what he was conveying. At one point I thought he was simply telling me to see the beauty around me. It took some years later, when there wasn’t any beauty right in front of me, to see that I had to, sometimes, search for the beauty, or I may find myself spiralling down into a depressing hole of god knows what. This was a big step in the right direction, as it, and he, have always been so right. If there is nothing around you that fits the normal term of beautiful, then there is a requirement to look a little deeper; to maybe see that young child that the bum on the sidewalk used to be. To see the look of the morning sky over a sprawling metropolis of dust and dirt. Its all there. It’s in that house with no front door somewhere near Lake Nicaragua. They don’t have much but the sun, the sky and the front yard. At times in the morning, London doesn’t offer much but a bone chilling cold that puts the meaning of misery deep into your bones. But the sky and the morning mist are the same as they were one thousand years ago, before that sprawling metropolis of dust and dirt were built by the hands of men, who probably thought much like my old friend.
These moments are the ones that shouldn’t be forgotten. Often times they pass right by the eyes in the flurry of the day. It doesn’t take much to store a moment in the brain. Its quite natural. Walking to the train station with my girlfriend this morning it was quite cold. That bone chilling misery I spoke of earlier. We began to compare different types of cold and how the London cold was much more tormenting than a cold morning in Switzerland. There is a spark of crisp life in the Swiss air, I must admit. The country took me over for three months and I saw a decent chunk of its Valais canton, in the southern French speaking part. But the moments that I think of more than anything are the ones where I stood on her balcony, smoking a cigarette, looking at the Alps; in the morning or the remarkably clear night. The times where we would be on a train or a car and I would find myself staring out the windows, in awe of the landscape and the sky that surrounded me. Looking out a window is a good hobby to have, and Switzerland is one of the best places to have one of these things at your disposal. Being caught up in everything before your eyes is a rush for the senses, to be sure. The freshness of the air is something that I personally have only encountered in the little state of Maine. There are vineyards seemingly on any piece of land they can find, and the wine the grapes produce is something you can only find there, for they do not export it, they keep for themselves. Its lush with natural beauty that gives you the feeling that a long time ago, when they were making borders around Europe, the Swiss decided to draw an imperfect circle around the most gorgeous part of the countryside, and said this is fine for us, we’ll keep this and stay right here.
Comparing Switzerland to a little hut town on the outskirts of Granada, Nicaragua is like comparing fresh coffee to instant coffee. Ones a little better tasting but the effects are strikingly similar. You see the same look of happiness in the faces of the Swiss as you see in the child’s face playing in the dusty street. Grenada itself is a whole different story than its outskirt towns and its a wonderful handful of stories of Princes and beggars for another time. But two different types, races even, of people with this same kind of happiness. The only difference really being the state of their respective countries. The happiness and pride in both is approachable, some live in the dry heat of a country trying to pull itself together, while the other has a small reputation for being the best at many things. Of all the things seen, though, all the wondrous buildings, or restaurants, or street food, its these small moments that should would, and could, stick with you. I pray these moments don’t get lost to the smoke of time. Some things don’t need to be pictured they need to be seen and felt. Whether its the crisp air of Switzerland, the dusty heat of Nicaragua or the tormenting cold of a London morning. The sky is always there. Here’s hoping you get out there to see it.