2012 Fall Cambriae Bates External Programs Thailand

Infinite Beauty

Beneath the Trees at The Sticky Waterfall

People always say that beauty fades. Young and beautiful becomes old and shriveled. Marble buildings become chipped and cracked, and once something withers away, that beauty doesn’t revive itself and come back, unless it’s a piece of nature. Nature is the one thing that never disappoints me. Even when something is dying in nature, even when the leaves on trees turn from green to brown, they are still beautiful, and when trees become bare and covered in snow they are still lovely.

I never get the chance to experience that many wonders of nature at home in Philadelphia. I go to the park often and sit and look at the birds, and that does allow me to find a piece of serenity in nature, but Philadelphia nature has never  made me feel in awe the way I do in Thailand. There is wonder as you walk up every mountain side and down every street. My favorite things to spot when walking down the streets are the butterflies. They are always around and always fluttering. Although there are butterflies in Philadelphia, they never seem to pass by me, and they are not as prevalent.  In Thailand however, I see them sitting on flowers and the are always opened so I can look at the paintings on their wings. I see them in the hallways of my dorm along with the grasshoppers and lizards. They land on my shoulders here and I smile because I realize that I am constantly among true beauty. There is nothing more eye opening than organic and natural art.

The Beginning of the Waterfall

Nature is a complex thing because although it can have its ugly faces, there is always beauty on the other side. Nature may break for a second, trees may be blown down in a hurricane, tornadoes may blend up the terrain as they spin across the world, and floods may drown the soil and the grass as the rivers rises and fills up the streets like cups, but afterwards nature rebuilds itself. Afterwards nature smiles and paints rainbows, it makes the sun seem a little more orange and the clouds seem a bit fuller. In Thailand when it rains the sky turns black but it usually never lasts that long. After about an hour of a heavy downpour the sky goes back to being the deepest blue and it is dressed in puffy curvaceous white clouds. Sometimes I’ll just go outside to stare at the sky, because to me it doesn’t seem real and it always looks a bit different even though it makes me feel the same joy.

Trees Next to the Sticky Waterfall

Another thing about Thailand nature that never fails to make my cheeks rise is the multitude of waterfalls. I have never truly seen a waterfall until I came here. I would count Niagara Falls but there were so many people around snapping pictures that I couldn’t truly experience the wonder. In Thailand there are waterfalls that just sit, and you can stand within them and splash in your dress. You can crawl on the rocks around them and not only admire Mother Nature, but be a part of her.

My favorite waterfall was what is called the Sticky Waterfall because you can walk up and down it. The way the water erodes the rock that the water falls down, makes it so it isn’t entirely slippery. There are some spots on the waterfall that are like black ice and you have to be careful because they could cause you to fall, but for the most part it was pretty easy going up and down. I walked down first, and I have to admit I was a little afraid because I slipped on my first step. My slip caused me to decide on going down the waterfall with a crablike walk instead of an upright walk like everyone else. I took my time and eased down, and when I finally reached the bottom I sighed in relief and happiness. Climbing up was a bit easier but all of the water was spilling down towards me so I was getting drenched, and then there was one moment where a lot of the spots that surround me were slippery death spots so I didn’t know what to grab. Luckily I made it up and I felt alive afterwards as I looked around and saw the new world that I was a part of. I stopped on a wooden bridge so I could get a picture next to the river that was flowing and when I did, I thought about just letting myself fall in so the water could take me and I could become beautiful in nature. Nature is never disappointing when it comes to wonder. No matter how many times you see the stars, a butterfly, a flower, or a waterfall it will always glow and be full of color and it will always feel like life.

Climbing the Waterfall

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