I woke, for the third or fourth time — even at home, that’s a good night for me — and poked my head over the wall. Cloud obscured everything more than a few metres down the ridge; I could have been thousands of metres up, somewhere remote and alpine, not a measly 600 or so above bustling Busan.
All was silent.
A tepid once-iced coffee helped rouse me. What a delightful process breaking camp is when you sleep tent-less! I stepped into the cloud, proceeding eastwards with no real plan except descending somewhere ahead, perhaps visting Beomeo-sa, Busan’s most famous temple, tucked into one of the lower folds of the ridge, on the way down.
The first web of the morning, a sparkling dew-trap. I paused without thought, slipping off the lens cap…
..and no sooner had I finished with that one than…
For the next hour or more I brushed through wet grass and dewy bushes, stopping every few metres to crouch under, peer over or crane my neck and lens through the tripwires of web after glistening web.
It was utterly absorbing — I really can’t think of too many more pleasurable ways to spend a morning. To have no commitments whatsoever and the leisure to stroll, pause, admire, try to snare the snarer in the viewfinder…
..and then on, in a haphazard, zigzagging way, completely content…
I feel sorry for people who rise late and miss this kind of magic.
Many’s the time I’ve cursed my insomnia but in truth I think I’ve adapted. Ever since I was a kid I’ve leapt out of bed before dawn, ready to jump back into whatever project I had going.
Such a shame that five days out of seven, these days, a four-letter-word starting with “W” is my reason for rising — and that it’s not so much a leap as a limp..
I don’t know how I’d survive the nine-to-five stints without regular doses of this.
The photography, too. Anyone who loves taking pictures could relate, I’m sure, to the way it focuses you (heh) on the place, the moment — the here and now.
For a few precious seconds, nothing outside that frame matters.
But where was I?
Oh, yeah, moving east, back in a wet and wooded section of the path, with other walkers materialising out of the mist now that the morning was getting on — and then I came to this little junction with a sign pointing north to a temple called Mireuk-Sa…
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote