Isn’t it strange that sometimes to see the true beauty in a scene you need to appreciate its direct opposite?
After feeling uber lazy last Monday morning- Canadian Remembrance Day- I donned my cold weather gear and headed out for a run. I had no plan or intention on where I was going or for how long, I just knew I wanted to get outside and fill my lungs to clear my head. 90 minutes and 20km later I was back home and couldn’t believe how quickly the time had flown by. The day and scenery of Stanley Park propelled me to go further than originally anticipated. There were so many instances where I wished that I were walking with my camera to capture the moments happening around me. In these moments I realized that the most strikingly beautiful things I was seeing were paired with the ordinary.
There was a constant flow and activity on the ocean, paddle boarders coaxing their way into the cold waters, birds flapping and cyclists whizzing by me. That all stopped in an instant when the cannon from the Remembrance Day Ceremony sounded. After the cannon a distinct calm spread over the water, so much calm and stillness that even the birds looked fake as they bobbed there- seemingly scared to make any ripples in the ocean. The sounds of the chatter of a downtown city centre ceased for a moment. It felt like someone pressed mute in the middle of a live concert.
Then as I waved to a fellow jogger coming around Lost Lagoon I saw the vivid white of a Swan against a dark figure on the nearby bench. It was a man in a dark large coat who appeared to be sleeping and the swan was curled up so close that it was almost touching him. It was as if they were keeping each other company- two lone entities surround by a city that was full of life and commotion that day.
It was the image of the swan and the man that struck me as strangely beautiful and made me think about the juxtapositions that surround us daily. For instance I like to run alone because I enjoy the quiet and the time to let my mind wander but at the same time I always have my headphones in love listening to music when I run. Listening to music lets me do my best thinking- it is as if filling my ears with other people words can help me make sense of my own thoughts. Or that athletes get satisfaction out of knowing they worked hard by feeling the pain and the pleasure of the post exercise endorphin kick along with the aching muscles in the bodies?