Visiting Lithuania on the solstice was a powerful experience. I posted once here, but rational thoughts are not sufficient, so I must add this post.
All day sun is commonplace at home in Southern California. A perfect sunset is just the punctuation mark on every perfect day. But landscapes with this power are not found in California. Here beauty arrives in a rarer form, unrefined and brutal, wisping across the empty sky. In the Vilnius forest, a small crack in the clouds reveals a tortured ribbon of light, escaping as the Almighty, to empower a world of gloom and gray.
Awe and peace, effortlessly at once, in the Vilnius hills and streets. The uplifting feeling from this landscape is impermanent, passing. But yet it is more real then the undying words I must use to try to capture it. One bitter winter day, devoid of physical comforts and all pleasures, but overfilling with the ancient breath of my forefathers in the form of the cutting wind. They worshiped this land, these trees, this sliver of sun. What efforts of travel are not worth these few moments of pure wonder and peace?
A sunset across the frozen forest, a beauty so true that worship is the only available choice. For us simple and profane men, who cannot hear God on a crowded street, these environments are essential in order to be able to experience the sublime. We search and search. But only when we stop our cycles of searching do we sense God in the stillness. “Maybe true. Maybe not true. Better you believe.”