I’d like to think there are different facades of beauty, a word that is very subjective to individual perceptions. Elegant beauty. Cute beauty. Sweet beauty. Strange beauty. Dark beauty. Recently, I got to experience what I’d call dangerous beauty. My sister and I made a visit to Yogjakarta, Indonesia with only one place in mind: Borobudur Temple. However, while we were there, we were introduced to another place that did not previously cross our minds: Mount Merapi, the most active volcanic mountain of the over 130 volcanoes in the nation.
We read that it was possible to hike to its summit from its north side. Next trip perhaps. We took a jeep tour to a point where we could get a close view of the mountain. It was a pretty cloudy day, unfortunately. So, when we got there, Mount Merapi was hidden by the clouds. We could see only a small part of it. It was as if it purposefully did not want to show itself on that day. We decided to leave. It was just a few minutes into our journey back when we looked back, and there it was in full view, strong and powerful, beautiful yet dangerous. We could see its summit pretty clearly, with smoke coming out of it.
With the knowledge of its massive eruptions in 2006 and 2010, and the frequency of its eruptions (every 4 – 5 years), I imagined the mountain could now be ready to unleash its might again. After all, it has been 5 years since it last did that. Indeed, Mount Merapi was one of the most beautiful things I have ever set eyes on, so beautiful in a dangerous sort of way.