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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bali Sunrise


The entire time I was in Bali, I was being shown what a magical, wonderful, so overwhelming beautiful gift life is. Each day, there would be someone or something that would make me pause and think about how blessed I am. Being in Bali made me grateful for things like clean water, hot water (seriously cold showers will make you treasure good plumbing), washers and dryers, and toilets and toilet paper. (Anyone who has had to use a ‘squat’ toilet will understand this one.)

It also made me so grateful to be a woman getting her education. A woman who has the opportunity to travel across the world. A woman that knows her rights, and has a fighting chance for the kind of future she wants. The entire time I was in Bali, those thoughts lingered in the back of my mind. “How can this sweet place be a paradise for me, and for the locals be a place of constant sacrifice and struggle?” My eyes would fill with tears when I saw small children wandering the streets, begging for money. And this isn’t one street corner, or one part of town. This is everywhere in the rural parts of Bali. Five year olds taking care of their one and two year old siblings, mothers scrubbing clothes in rivers, woman and men carrying heavy baskets on their heads, and working all day in the blazing sun with humidity that makes you permanently damp. They don’t get to act upon wanderlust, or focus on just themselves for a while. Being born in these parts of Bali, almost predetermines part of your future. Everyone is given a role. Everyone’s role is vital to their family and community. Which means there is little room for self-discovery and adventure. Yet, these people, are happy. They smile, they welcomed me everywhere. They would say things like, “you help me” “you bring me good luck” “you so beautiful.” Their smiles so big, their eyes would squint shut, as if they were soaking in the entire moment. It’s a mastered practice in Bali, these smiles so big that they make just about everyone smile. There is so much love surrounding the island, writing about it makes my heart flutter. I left a piece of my heart in Bali: with the people, the villages, the hundreds of smiles. I hope they all constantly feel my love. I hope they know they changed a bit of me for the better.


A favorite memory for me in Bali (and it is soooo difficult to choose just one), was watching the sunrise on a boat in Lovina. Oh, that statement does little justice to what happened. I was watching the start of the day take place in the dark blue sky, and admiring how the sun takes it time. At first, you just see a peek of it's golden goodness, followed by bright reds and oranges stream through. I was sitting on this teal and white wooden boat, in utter silence admiring the process. And it is a slowwww process. At some point I thought, “Okay Sun, you can just make your appearance now.”

But having nowhere else to be, I decided to be patient. I focused on the water, the other boats, my grateful heart, this wonderful journey. And all of a sudden, the sun burst through the sky. I gasped. I just thought about how recognizing the beauty of life is like that sunrise. It's a slow process, and some don’t have the patience for it. But each day, we get to see bits of life’s beauty like the streams of colors that begin to decorate the sky in the early morning. We must hold on to those moments, and realize that they are just the beginning of something striking about to happen. And then all of a sudden, it’s a burst as the sun brightens a once dark, haunting sky.

I just watched from the boat, and felt so happy I could witness a rise like that. I fell in love with it. Each day I will rise. Prepared for the day and the possibilities for it all. I will be patient, like the sky as it waits each morning for the sun to come. I will be bright and humble like those streams of reds and oranges that whisper, “something even better is coming.” The sun brings light, a new day. For me, an intense love for my life was born that morning. And what was a slow, timid love for life, turned into an infatuation with the possibilities of creating a beautiful present and future. And a heart that lives for the beauty and love of life is like the sun. Because that kind of heart, lights up the whole sky.

 Dear Bali, thank you for showing me that things were never moving too slowly in my life, thank you for showing me if I were patient enough, I would witness the beauty of it all.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I will be rereading this on mornings I start to doubt things... others or myself. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your heart with us XO

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  2. This is so beautiful. What an amazing experience and journey. To get to "see" Bali through your eyes and your words is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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