When Beauty Becomes Normal
Is beauty always destined to become average?
This past weekend, my fiance and I headed to Salida, Colorado to look at a potential wedding venue. We've visited the Arkansas Valley/Central Rockies portion of the state plenty of times, as it's one of our favorite places to escape the city.
The drive alone is worth the trip. Highway 285 south of Denver is a breathtaking journey through scenic mountain terrain, with each sharp and winding turn opening up to fresh, picturesque landscapes. The first time we made this trip, it was hard not to want to pull off every few miles to take in the views and snap a series of shots before getting back in the car.
After 2 hours of mountain driving, one of the starkest mountain ranges in the state greets you, with the Collegiate Peaks towering over the Arkansas Valley. However, this past trip, I noticed something happen that I had been slightly dreading.
The drive down seemed rather...normal
We've made the trip down to Salida at least 5 times now, and we've driven 285 south to Kenosha Pass (about an hour from Denver) at least 15 times. Having just driven this stretch of road two months ago, the sights that normally leave me in awe flashed by without much reflection.
The beautiful majestic mountain wonders became a quick blur of scenery, devoid of the usual flood of inspired thoughts and feelings. The experience wasn't so much depressing as it was an average collection of moments showcasing how something incredibly beautiful can eventually become normal.
It made me wonder: does the person that lives at Mt. Everest's basecamp eventually look out upon the most towering peak in the world and experience the same ho-hum feeling as a Nebraskan looking out at endless miles of cornfields?
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but time can eventually wash away the sparkle
The ability something has to leave us in awe inevitably wanes with each passing glimpse and experience. The first time you come upon a place of intense splendor may make you spellbound, entranced with the spectacle that surrounds you, leaving you breathless and filled with reverence.
You may even feel the need to move to such a place, believing your world would be immensely better to constantly be in the presence of such beauty. But, like anything, the initial spark of inspiration that gave way to a roaring fire of enthusiasm inevitably fades back into a few flames, eventually being snuffed out without a fresh stoking.
Beauty is not necessarily defined by its novelty, but newness certainly fuels our ability to become enchanted. Fresh eyes are almost always more receptive to the beauty in front of them, as the sights and sounds are immediately stimulating without any additional effort.
Much like the feeling of love for another person, beauty is doomed to diminish without consistent reflection, admiration, and gratitude. Any scene, no matter how profound, won't always have the ability to shake us up the way it did the first time we laid eyes upon it.
But if we are to truly appreciate the beauty of something and to have a lasting, sustainable sense of its unique wonder, an effort is required on our part to rekindle our regard for it. And in the long run, it won't just be a surface-level punch to the senses, it'll be a deeper, lasting sense of admiration.
All uncredited pictures from pixabay.com or my personal account
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