Hut by a Pond. On-the-spot painting on Mt Pulag, Benguet by AVR (1985) inspired by Henry David Thoreau, 18th century American philosopher who left town and lived alone in a forest clearing for more than a year. Here he wrote Walden Pond, a treatise between man and his society.
This is an art lesson of freedom, peace and tranquility, and of unspoiled landscape; feeling of being on top of the world.
The title alone tells a story. It is picturesque. Here one imagines himself to be in a simple hut made of grass, wood and stone which shelters a woodsman and hunter on Mt. Pulag in Benguet, the second highest mountain in the Philippines after Mt. Apo.
There are no other buildings ; no road, except a trail. The trees on the mountain side are small, gnarled and stunted by wind, nonetheless they make a green carpet on the whole mountain. Nearby trees display the season of autumn. Plants grow around the pond, but there are few large and floating ones, unlike in the lowlands. Instead, the water is rich in algae and small aquatic vegetation.
Stones cushions the shores of the pond, larger ones riprap the edge of the water. Fish abound - big and small - splashing and rippling. As gentle wind blows, waves gently lap on the shore in hushing sound.
The ambiance is therapeutic. Feel the cold wind that sends the ripening leaves to the ground. The ground is littered with fresh golden to red leaves. Feel the great comfort the hut gives you after a long day hike, and how soothing is the cool and clear water.
When everything is still the water reflects the sky. Sometimes a breeze comes along, followed by drizzle, then everything is quiet. Enjoy stillness. It is a rare experience to one who has been living in the city, to one who has been busy in school or office.
Draw first the mountain top, then the pond and hut. Fog plays hide-and-seek with the sun. Now and then it casts light and shadow in different patterns on the landscape, and makes a prism on the water, and a rainbow in the sky. Each view is momentary, the whole mountainscape is ever changing, colors are kaleidoscopic, now and then the world stands still.
Take time; this is independence and freedom, meditation and reflection.
Selections from the sound track of The Sound of Music provide an ideal musical background. Try indigenous music of the Cordilleras. Follow the instructions earlier presented in the other two exercises. Enjoy your travelogue on Mt. Pulag.
x x x