Secret Temple
30 May 2023

Point me to the ugliest, most random, most basic country on a map – and there you would find natural beauty. Like pretending ”real” BBQ was invented locally, every country in the world has convinced itself that it is blessed with natural beauty – and, unlike BBQ – by virtue of nature – they are correct. Some swagger a bit overmuch, as if its climate and geography is uniquely special and nowhere else can possibly match its sunsets.

Then there are places that never boast. Places with a reputation for being rainy and grey and dull. Places dismissed by foreigners and bemoaned by locals. And now I have become convinced that all that is really just a way to hide the best treasures from the rest of us.

How else do I explain a 30 minute train trip, and a 30 minute walk, suddenly stumbling upon a vast valley garden – un-marketed, un-celebrated, un-boasted – just there… casually, incidentally present… to be walked and enjoyed and drunk with the eyes? A rich world of biodiversity and depth and breadth and life? A place with ancient mysterious structures and natural beauty so forcefully overwhelming it borders on the power of very first erotic love?

What kind of country is this – to have such divine terrains – and not to proclaim itself the garden of Eden itself?

I do not know… but I have fallen and am smitten… and I will search for every single secret temple that I can find – because my soul is freed by it.