Musings & Thoughts

Musings from the Pier

     The ocean stretches out to meet the sky, an infinite wash of blue, interrupted only by the dark vessels drifting along the horizon line. The sky is dirty grey, dreary and still, uninspiring, save for the tinges of pink decorating the clouds, as the sun sets somewhere around the corner. The waters are flanked by two hulking green masses, reaching towards each other as if to embrace, but unable to close the gap between them. They are smooth, isolated guardians, not a man-made structure to be seen from this point. Closer, rock formations peer from the depths of the sea, carvings undertaken by nature as the waves slowly caress them, re-shaping them bit by bit.

Blake Pier in the harbour of Stanley on Hong Kong island

     Here, the world is quiet. Here there is only the wind, gently stirring the salty smell of the sea through the air. Here the only sound is the soft lapping of the sea against the rocks and this wooden structure erected in their midst.

     Behind this scene though, life goes on. Turning around reveals row after row of buildings, first old colonial architecture by the waterfront, painted in an array of bright colours, which then give way to sleek, white, luxurious villas stacked into the hillside. Bright lights glow around it all, beacons against the slow advance of the darkness settling down. There is a warmth to the place, but also noise and clamour, as music pulses from the buildings, and people bustle about the streets, chattering and rushing and shouting and colliding. Many are perusing the rows of quaint stalls, which overflow with a chaotic array of knick-knacks and trinkets, in all shapes and colours.

     The pier has warmth too though, with the swooping wooden arches overheard, creating perfect symmetry, and hung with glowing orange lamps, filling the deck with soft, gentle light. It feels simple, yet grand, isolated, yet imbued with history. People mill around, their footsteps pattering gently on the wooden boards, but there is still an undeniable stillness and peace here, at least in comparison to the rest of the shoreline. There is a faint scent of the wood mingled with the salty air, a reminder that this man-made structure is still a part of nature, far more so than the concrete architecture behind it.

     It straddles two worlds, so close to the busy streets behind it, yet encapsulating a feeling of stillness and serenity. A bubble of peace in this hectic hub in the world.

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