The jungle path slowly winds its way onward and upward towards the summit. Early rays of sunlight try desperately to penetrate the thick overhanging canopy. What little light manages to filter through, illuminates the small pools of water that have settled after the morning’s downpour. Water continues to slowly find its way to the jungle floor, dripping and rolling from one leaf to another until it comes to rest on a thick carpet of dead vegetation. The pitter-patter of large drips splashing on this decaying organic matter add to the early morning din of the forest sounds.
The giant black Inch ants are busy in their organised military lines, moving this rotting material here and there to store for a future time of need.
Small birds scream from one branch to another, chattering and darting in a seemly incoherent chaotic way. High up, the hornbill glides from one treetop to another, the aerial king of the jungle announcing its presence by its harsh high-pitched squawk.
All this activity is conducted above the background sounds of the cicada, untuned violinists trying desperately to catch the rhythm and beat of the surrounding environment.
Squirrels occasionally disturb this symphony as their daily struggle for survival means noisily scurrying around in search of food; their next parcel of energy.
Air clings heavily around the mighty hard woods producing copious amounts of sweat for those intruding into their kingdom.
The narrow track continues its journey toward its final destination.
The deep greens of the jungle remain consistent throughout with only the subtlest hint of colour changes here and there in the fern beds that line the pathway. Morning steam rising from the ground adds to the illusion of an awaking green giant, ready to face another day.
Nearing the summit produces an intensity of the tropical sun. Strengthening light pierces the thinning canopy. This place has a soul, a heart that beats continuously in harmony with its many parts.
A large sandstone boulder marks the top. One can easily climb this monolith to obtain an uninterrupted view of the surrounding area.
Dark black smoke appears in the distance blanketing the horizon.
A forest fire maybe…?
No, the smoke is not natural. The factory that is producing it does so every day of the year.
Looking around, all that can be seen from this supreme vantage point is manmade.
We are sitting on top a green island surrounded by a sea of concrete.
Both decay in time.
The forest breaks down slowly to give hope to the next generation. The nutrients are used, reused in the never ending cycle of life.
The concrete that makes up the factories and homes decays as well, into faded dreams and aspirations. It ages with us until at some stage it no longer serves a purpose and disappears into the clouds of time. Forgotten without a trace. This concrete jungle has no soul.
Living without life.