I have seen many lakes – from the breathtaking Tshangu lake in Sikkim (India) near Chinese border to the amazing Pangong lake in Leh near Ladakh in the Himalayas, Dal lake, named as the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir,” the finger lakes in Buffalo (New York) and many more.
None could elicit as speechless a response from me as the one I visited last week. None could inspire me to share my ethereal experience of being mesmerized by its view.
I have been looking for words to describe the beauty of Crater Lake ever since I set my eyes on this spectacular marvel of nature but words seem to fall apart…should I say exquisite…magnificient or a spiritual delight?
When I looked at it, the first word that came to my mind was WOW! Its pristine glory, its tranquility and its wondrous aura captivated me beyond words. I stood rooted to the ground, frozen, not by the gusty winds and sleet that welcomed us but by its celestial beauty.
“Crater Lake must be seen to be appreciated properly,” said Thomas J. Williams, former superintendent of Crater Lake National Park, “photographs simply cannot depict the majesty of the lake in its setting, the depth of the blue.”
The words of Author, Jack London that I happened to read at the Visitor center at Park Headquarters really resonate with me, “I thought I had gazed upon everything beautiful in nature as I have spent my years traveling thousands of miles to visit the beauty spots of the earth, but I have reached the climax. Never again can I gaze upon the beauty spots of the earth and enjoy them as being the finest thing I have ever seen. Crater Lake is above them above them all.”
Created out of fire, lava and smoke, this unique lake took many years to come to its present form. A caldera was formed when Mount Mazama (a volcano in south-central Oregon) collapsed. Lava eruptions created a central platform, Wizard island and Merriam Cone. Eventually the caldera cooled, allowing rain and snow to accumulate and form a lake.
We watched a 22-minute film about the park’s violent past and its present grandeur. It is shown at the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters.
We drove around the east rim of the lake the day we arrived (many thanks to our amiable hostess who told us) because it was to be closed to vehicular traffic the next day for repairs. Rim drive, which was built in 1930s, is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake. It offers ‘dramatic views’ of the lake and the park’s volcanic scenery.
Sun and mist played hide and seek and erased the deep blue color of the lake. Sunsets in the park are said to be amazing but we couldn’t savor them. A hushed desire to go again simmers within my heart.
Undeterred by sleet and rain, we hiked to Sun Notch to view The Phantom Ship, an island in the lake, that seems to be sailing away. From easy walks to challenging hikes, Crater National Park, which was established in 1902 has something for everyone – boat tours, trolley tours, camping, fishing, sky gazing, sunsets, wildlife viewing, food and dining in Crater Lake Lodge and even swimming in the ice-cold water of the lake!
We couldn’t enjoy all the activities due to early snow and bad weather on the day we chose to visit but the memories that we carried are permanently etched on our minds.
The drive through the park was a little scary but very beautiful, with thick forest on both sides of the road. We were caught unawares by a sudden snowfall when we decided to drive to Annie’s Restaurant for dinner and had to return empty stomach! But there were no regrets because we had had a sumptuous lunch at the Lodge restaurant and could drive through the thick snow on the slippery road.
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Some people just look beautiful while some are really so. But it took me almost half my life to discern this truth.
A poetry lover, I had always believed “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”…that the beholder has to be beautiful (to distinguish) never passed my mind or I couldn’t believe eyes are so different!
Who cares about inner beauty while growing up? A child doesn’t even know such a beauty exists and an adolescent would scoff at it!
Try telling a teenager to dress modestly and her dagger eyes would convey all! All cultural norms are thrown to the winds to acquire the so-called beauty.
Youthful attractiveness is a natural yearning and there should be no guilt about the desire to look beautiful.
The moment we become aware of physical charm and magnetism, we try our best to look good. The efforts never cease even if the awareness of ‘inner beauty’ dawns on us!
It is personal grooming, peer pressure to look beautiful and slim that molds our thoughts about beauty.
While youngsters feel that branded attire makes them look good, the latest beauty product makes their skin glow and the vogue of the day has to be followed, real beauty remains as elusive as getting nearer to your first crush!
It is the outer beauty that gets an immediate attention.
Inner beauty reveals itself slowly and only if you have the inclination to perceive it.
Eventually it is what kind of human being you are that matters but we come to know a person only after we remain in constant and consistent touch.
True beauty doesn’t radiate from the face, which has been daubed with cosmetics.
A gentle and a quiet spirit, the glow that you can feel within, the spark that brightens your smile, thoughts that guide you out of your own darkness…beauty is as simple as that!
One of our family friends’ beautiful daughter Sam visited me after a long time. She had this young, short and dark man by her side whom she introduced to us as her fiancé. I looked at him and my first thought was… ‘Is Sam going to marry this man!?’ Hardly a match for her!
During my conversation with this man I realized what a wonderful communicator he was, what a warm heart he possessed and with what ease he had endeared himself as a member of our family. ! I could catch the positive vibes that he emitted.
The same moment I felt guilty of judging him. Despite holding many workshops and discussions on topics of human interest and virtuous living, knowing very well that physical appearances are but a sham…how could I jump to such a conclusion!
We admire inner beauty yet get carried away by appearances.
“Outer beauty is like a decade; it doesn’t last forever. While inner beauty stays permanent like an ocean. By all means, hold strong to your inner beauty.” – Edmond Mbiaka
Societal pressures and touchstones define beauty for us till we learn we have been looking at superficial beauty, enhanced just to look appealing.
Even Google understands beauty in those terms, which have been set by people. Try to google the words ‘beauty images’ and see what you get!
Try looking up again with the words ‘images of beautiful men/women’ and the results would be almost the same.
I couldn’t find any suitable pictures of beauty that could resonate with this piece and therefore decided to create one with eyes!
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You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems. If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks. Thank you for your support. Please share your reflections, they are much appreciated.