As my beautiful wife was cooking dinner in the van, I ventured into the fierce wind to explore our surroundings overlooking the Northern Atlantic Ocean. From our free parking-turned-camping spot in Western Wales just beside a lighthouse, dramatic cliffs gave way to crashing sea on either side of us. Rain had been pouring down all afternoon, and it had certainly been a miserable day up until this moment. We had spent the past two days driving around from store to store attempting to convert our German propane supply system to a UK supply without success, and the inefficiencies and frustrations were taking a serious toll on me. Having exhausted nearly every possible resource, we finally came to a workable solution and headed off for a few days of solitude and rest. I needed a good walk to clear my head.
As I descended towards the cliffs, the bitter wind off the sea chilled my bones and watered my eyes. As the sea grew nearer and louder, the mist from the waves dashing against the cliffs sprayed my face. I smiled. I have always loved the smell and taste of the sea. This wry smile grew larger and uncontainable as the sun peaked from behind the storm clouds and exploded into golden light. The grey world around me had suddenly sprung to life in color and vibrancy--glacier blue waves were crowned with pastel sunlight; previously dull brown shrubs now contrasted beautifully against the green pasture; black cliffs briefly revealed their mossy ledges before becoming enshrouded by the white sea foam of each passing wave; and clouds beamed in joyous reds, pinks, golds, and oranges, casting a faint glow upon all matter beneath the storm clouds above.
As my camera clicked away, I suddenly became aware of three wild horses grazing just along the cliffs. I sprung across rocks and ledges and marveled at the scene that only I was witnessing, for no other humans were within a mile of me. I considered sprinting back for Jaimie, since we were out of cell reception, however I knew I would not make it there and back with her in time. This moment existed for me alone. The horses were rugged mountain beasts with wispy dreadlocked manes blowing freely in the gale. I found myself no more than 10 feet from where they grazed, apparently of no interest to them. Their white bodies were caked in mud and soaked from the day's storm, yet they stood solemnly and nobly atop their cliffside pasture, unaware of the grandeur of the moment.
It was perhaps the most beautiful natural sight I have ever witnessed. I sat down in reverence for the scene before my eyes, uncertain whether the tears streaming down my cheeks remained an effect of the wind or fell in a silent praise released to the Artist of All Things. The sheer weight of beauty and grace overcame me, touching a deep place in my heart and soul.
I do not recall the last time I became so undone by nature, but each time I have felt this in the past, I am brought back to the same position of humility, gratitude, wonder, serenity, and joy. In these moments, my head slows it's ferocious locomotive engine of troubles, ideas, and plans while the soft words of the mystic Julian of Norwich echo in my head: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all things of matter shall be well."
Just as this moment did for me, I hope these photos inspire and encourage you to see the beauty through any storm that you may be enduring. May you find the golden light softly touching all things of matter in your life, the horses encouraging you to live in freedom and peace, and the sea reminding you of the beautiful depths of love that exist in this world for you. Much love, my friends!