A Glimpse of Heaven

Some photographs have a way of connecting immediately with the viewer. Like this photo that was shared on facebook by the group ‘Life with cats‘. I posted it to my timeline calling it a glimpse of heaven, for that is what it seemed to me.

The photo shows a flight of stone steps flanked by a stone railing that leads into a landing where a pink bougainvillea creeper has crept in and bloomed. Sunshine pours into the scene, but there is also the cool shade of the stone railing, the creeper and presumably a tree in the background which cannot be seen in the picture. On each stone step lies a ginger cat basking in the shady warmth. Two of them lie on the landing, near the bougainvillea.

The cats are not exactly ‘cute’ in the sense that they do not have that sweet, communicative expression one often sees in domesticated cats. Nor do they look like feral or street cats. They look placidly content, with that contemplative, stoically blissful expression that is so characteristic of all cats.

The setting is not mentioned. I like to think that the stone steps are part of a temple. As there are no distinguishing carvings on the stone railings, it could be a temple just about anywhere – an Indian temple, a Zen temple or perhaps a Greek temple. The stone steps, the sunshine, the shade, the bougainvillea flowers and the peaceful expression of the cats together elevate the photograph from a picture into an idea of heaven.

The photograph reminds me of things dear. Like memories of school summer vacations, long quiet hours spent in libraries when the chatter within the mind subsides and sinks in the absolute silence, the feeling of walking into the pages of a book which has opened its doors for you, the companionable silence shared with a close friend after a long, enjoyable conversation.

It is incredible how a random photograph of five cats can provide a blissful moment of satori.

Photograph belongs to Facebook Group Life with Cats

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