You know how sometimes people say that they saw something so beautiful they were overcome with emotion - like when they see their first born child, or a particularly touching part of a movie.
Well, today, I think I may have seen the thing that has most moved me in ages.
And, no, it was not Dan's behind.
Today we climbed up Ben Lamond, a mountain in Queenstown. And it was mind blowing.
For starters, we had to walk through a wood, flanked by a river and some waterfalls, which was so dense at times that our early morning stroll felt like we were walking in the dead of night, and the only noises we could hear was that of the running water next to us. It was eerie, and I must confess I was pleased to get back into the open again, if not to just confirm it was in fact light!
Once we had passed this, and found the path we lost temporarily, (leading us to scramble precariously up some rocks and along some particularly muddy tracks) we came to the mountain itself - what we had set out to see. We walked along the path for a while, but it slowly became more and more covered in snow, until the point it covered our boots and ankles, and at times, if we ventured a little to far left or right, our knees got an icy blast!
But none of that matters - we put up with cold feet, and wind biting our eyes, because what we saw actually took our breath away.
The pictures do not do it the justice it rightly deserves. The mountains (called The Remarkables for obvious reasons) looked like they had been designed - like they were not meant to be there, but somebody had crafted them for tourists, and then, just to finish it off, sprinkled caster sugar all over them for the finishing touch. As you walked, the snow sparkled in the sun like a jewel thief had gone that way and dropped his entire haul in the white ground. And when you picked it up, it was so delicate I felt like I was holding something priceless - too precious to drop or crush, put the wind selfishly blew the light, powdery substance off my glove, to be reclaimed by Mother Nature, and keep her design as perfect as it looked.
As we passed over one ridge to witness snow topped mountains into the distance as far as our eyes could see, that is when it's true beauty took over - the emotion hit me, and after our walk I maybe could have shed a tear or two. Not sadness or despair, but amazement and joy - I'm so pleased I have been able to see these things, but I'm not sure I will see anything this beautiful ever again.
Until maybe I have my baby.
A little while yet then, hey Mum??!!