Lakshmi Kothaneth –
Summer is around the corner and what is the first thing that comes to mind? Rushing along with the tail end of spring are the beach goers who are trying to benefit the lovely weather we are still able to enjoy in Oman. While trying to get images of the wonderful sun set at Shatti al Qurum Beach, I almost tripped over, but just in time I realised it was a person who was in a meditative state. He had a note pad in his hand and the strokes just kept appearing on a brown paper.
Looking at the direction he was focusing on, I saw his subject who was standing and watching the football game that was going on. It is a moment. How many of us go out there to capture a moment.
Just as we continued to talk to Stephen Grant, the artist we saw the sun change the colours of the sky. The palm trees created the silhouette and just then one person sat on the little sand hill making the scene picturesque. He had stretched his hand out and in his hand was a mobile phone.
A conversation that was from a beach while others sat around to talk and yet there are others who were working out for health.
How much do we really care for our nature? I have been intrigued by the concept of ‘forest bathing’ in the Japanese culture. The move is to encourage especially the city dwellers to explore forests and especially be around trees.
There is something about trees. They are part of the ecosystem yet how often do we think of it. It was actually during an interview with American Geologist Dr Peter Kelemen who has explored Oman’s wadis and mountains in great depth for a better understanding of earth.
“The acacia tree can be pretty thorny but we came across one which was made more like a bed as there were mats and other things that were set on it. It made a perfect bed. It was higher from the ground too. Someone must have been camping in the traditional way,” explained Dr Peter.
There was a time when acacia trees had a prominent role to play especially in the wilderness. It could be a bed. It is a canopy.
And one of the best sights I have ever seen was at Jiddat al Harrasis in the early morning – dew drops at the tips of the branches looked like diamond droplets.
The Arabian Gazelles had gathered to sip on the dew drops. The ground underneath the trees was damp and was a darker patch in colour because the dew has been dropping throughout. They were all early risers. And for the oryx, gazelles and birds the acacia tree was precious.
Because when the sun is on top and the heat becomes unbearable the acacia tree becomes the shelter.
Until that morning the acacia tree for me was just another tree or rather a shrub. But seeing so many of the wild life depend on this sturdy tree made me realise why they were created the way they are.
The acacia trees are just tall enough for the animals to stretch their neck up to quench their thirst with the dew drops. So what if they have thorns?
Just like the trees humans too are made differently, but everyone has a significant part to play. Could it be that we have not tapped everyone’s talent. It seems everything has a reason to be. It only takes for us to discover the significance.
Is it for us to bring out the talent on our own by discovering ourselves or should we wait to be discovered?
Meeting the artist Haitham Mohammed Rafi, going live on Observer Facebook page (@omanobserver) and seeing all the feedback and comments posted it dawned upon me that if Haitham never went onto follow his dreams we would have never discovered his talent or heard him sing.
Let us go searching — searching for the talent, let us bring them out and celebrate creativity because with creativity comes positive thoughts and with positive thoughts grows creativity. It is a cycle that could go on forever.
Let us look for talent under the canopy of nature because talent is part of nature.