I am so lucky to live here in the heart of Wales and to be surrounded by natural beauty at all times. But over the last associate of years I, along with all the inhabitants of this small market town, have been treated to a more surprising symmetry.
On my daily walk with my dog Jester along the edges of the river Wye, I suddenly began to notice the occasional turn up of fantastic sculptures. They were of natural stones, balanced on top of each other in seemingly impossible ways that defied gravity. They were so expertly positioned, sometimes as one elegant monument and sometimes as a group, that they appeared to be floating on the surface on the water. They always just seemed to materialise out of thin air – one day there was nothing there and the next I would have to stop to surprise and usually gasp at the latest work of art.
I know the idea of being balanced can sound boring to some people, as if it dulls you in some way and makes you uninteresting. These stone pillars were a wonderful example of the true artistry of balance, and proof that it is far from boring. From a strong and sure balance point, as with the stones, you can appear to do the impossible and the extraordinary!
These unexpected treasures found along my path really brightened my day and lifted my heart. They reminded me of the simple beauty to be found in everyday, ordinary objects and of how those objects could be transformed into sublime sculptures when looked at in a different way, from a creative perspective. I always felt a welcome sense of magic and took a moment to send a heartfelt silent thank you to their creator.
One day, I can’t remember the exact time but I know it was quiet and I was the only person around, I truly caught sight of the guerrilla artist. He was quietly and methodically going about his task – picking up stones, weighing them, examining them and then carefully placing them. I held my breath as I watched for a while, but I was surprised to find that I didn’t want to interrupt his work. I felt that to introduce myself, to speak to this man may break the spell somehow and he had clearly taken pains not to be noticed. It wasn’t about that for him. So I walked on, sending him my wordless thanks as usual.
Recently a very beautiful river stone configuration appeared by the old town bridge, shown in a photograph on my website, which prompted me to write this article. I am grateful to my unknown artist for the joy and grace he communicate to all from the generosity and expressiveness of his own heart.
This latest offering has made me think about what I could do to bring joy to people’s lives, not necessarily as part of my work, for reward or recognition, but just because I know it will shine a little unexpected light into the lives of those whom I may never meet but who will appreciate it all the more.
What about you? What could you do? You don’t have to be a gifted or talented artist or have special skills; as we have seen here, the most simple things when given attention and focus and a bit of imagination become truly magical.