Take a Breath
60X120cm, Acrylic on Canvas
Photo Credit: Joseph Cooper
Australia's vast and varied landscape is full of beauty and wonder - scenes that captivate the heart, stilling the very breath in your lungs. Wild and breath-takingly beautiful, this land is full of crashing waves, ancient cliffs, tropical rainforests, arid deserts, and delicate blooms.
Ever-changing, the landscape is constantly ravaged by fierce storms, relentless droughts, magnificent floods, captivating bush fires ... and the simple rising and setting of the sun... completely transforming the earth into something totally new, yet just as magnificent....
The Blue Mountains is such a place that causes one to stop in their very tracks. Breathing in the fresh mountain air, tinted with the sweet scent of the eucalypts in bloom, sunshine reflects off the lush foliage of the surrounding rainforest. Eyes focused on the rough track through red and yellow autumn leaves covering the forest floor as we pick our way carefully towards the cliff's edge, I catch my breath as I look up to see the magnificence before me. Seeing those cliffs for the first time - such a wild, breath-taking beauty - I am captivated by the majesty of those rugged rocks of purple, amber, and cream. Trees and shrubs cling with determination to the sides of these vast cliff faces, dwarfed by the size of these great rock formations.
I tell myself to take a breath, and we continue walking the tiny track cut into the side of this incredible cliff. The delicate flowers and tiny birds flitting across the path in front of us contrast with the magnificence of the cliffs beyond them.
As we round the bend, my body comes to another halt. Feet planted firmly, I stop and stare at the wild beauty before me. For a second time, I stop breathing for a few seconds in reaction to the majesty before me, a new sense of wonder overcomes me. These are the Three Sisters - three rugged, wild, magnificent, enormous towers of jagged rock standing proud and united against the clear blue sky, catching the light of the afternoon sun.
I tell myself to take a breath, and we sit a while to take in the vastness and majesty of the landscape before us. But it isn't long before the scene changes completely.
The sun makes it's slow descent behind the distant mountains, throwing magenta, indigo and violet light across the sky. In an instant, those three magnificent towers are totally transformed by washes of colour. The last light of the day hits the peaks, and the Sisters are illuminated with a golden glow against the soft pastels of the sunset behind them. My heart misses a beat, and I tell myself to take a breath, totally captivated by the wild beauty of God's creation. If this magnificence on earth is but a shadow of the Almighty One who Created it, how great is the One who also calls me His child? I tell myself to take a breath, and my lungs fill with sweet mountain air, my heart overflows with joy as I thank my Heavenly Father for the wild beauty of the world He created - in love, just for us to enjoy.