Seeing the Marvellous / by Jeannine Cook

Flying high above Georgia's hinterland in the dusk, I was watching all details of the land below disappear into soft evening haze. Suddenly, a marvellous swirled flash of silver and golden glints leapt from the darkness below. I gazed enthralled, for it was truly beautiful in its sinuous elegance. Then it was gone - the light and our position in the sky had changed. I later deduced that it must have been the Oconee River in its middle reaches.

The magical image stayed in my mind's eye, and I have finally tried to translate it into a silverpoint drawing – as yet unscanned. But I keep feeling that glimpse of the silvered world far below me was a wonderful, fleeting gift.

The episode made me think of a quote made by the extraordinary French poet, Charles Baudelaire. He said, "We are enveloped and drenched in the marvellous, but we do not see." He is so often correct - we live in a world of haste and stress, rushing from one thing to the next, a life style that often precludes our stopping to savour of something simple, beautiful, uplifting. Yet those moments, when we can perceive the marvellous around us, enrich and anchor our lives.