You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Beauty comes in so many forms that it’s hard to know where to start — which is why it starts with the everyday.
All is dark and peaceful. Wind is rustling gently past windows; cars are gliding past.
A distant moon pulls the darkness slowly away as light assumes control, illuminating the stage with the faintest tints of orange peeking over the hills.
As the late-night workers finally drift off to sleep, the rest of the world begins to wake up and groggily push itself through the morning.
There is such beauty in the early morning, even as the bitterly cold air stings our faces as our feet purposefully retrace the well-worn route to school.
Leaves swaying in the wind as though music fills them from the inside, breathing life into them.
An unfolding flower gradually displays more of its beauty to the world.
As time passes, it begins to wilt, tilting gracefully back into the ground that made it, before another flower grows anew.
Just as a drowning man does to his lifeboat, so our hands clutch at a warm cup of coffee.
There is grandeur even in the hands — the curves, the lines, the colours — each detail perfectly imperfect.
Able to hold things, to touch, to feel the warmth emanating towards us.
A buzz of morning greetings, scraping chairs, moving stands and warming up instruments greets every new orchestra entrant as they join the throng, adding to the bustle as it grows and grows.
Then the music begins, each player working together to create the most astounding, multi-layered sound — this is, arguably, the most beautiful thing of all.
With every new piece, new emotion is brought forth.
Stormont sums it up best.
‘‘There can be lovely lyrical melodies, reflecting the ebb and flower of life; or there can be discordant harmonies, reflecting the present chaos of life.
‘‘There can be smooth yet exciting rhythmic patterns — tantalising the adventure in us — or there can be sharply jagged rhythms, jolting us into a state of frenzy or unease.’’
What a great power music holds over us.
The caffeine finally hits as rooms full of young people greet each other — some happy, some sad, some tired, others stressed; but all finding solace in one another.
Knowledge is then imparted as each individual sets about absorbing the current of new information brought forth.
What a beautiful thing learning is — to learn what has been discovered, to understand everything from the greatest works of literature to the chemicals that make the body the masterpiece it is.
A true wonder we experience each day.
And when the sun finds itself at the highest point in the sky, glaring down upon our backs, we talk and laugh and forget our troubles together, if only for a moment, with the incoming tide of news and energy.
Time begins to whizz past, before we return to learning, that great gift so easily mistaken for a burden.
Exhausted, we make our way back home. This time our feet drag over the concrete.
As the sun continues to beat down upon us, every limb begins to ache with tiredness. And yet, even this is beautiful.
The sense of accomplishment, the fact that it is done, our daily dose of energy used to good effect, is astounding.
That moment we reach home is a blessing.
Being enveloped in that hug of safety, warmth, a place to relax and be oneself.
A place you can always come back to.
The sun sets itself back behind the hills, pulling the curtains slowly closed with the promise that tomorrow will bring more wondrous things.
The day’s performance is over: darkness pervades the air as the world, seemingly completely at peace again, falls asleep once more.
What a beautiful world we live in.