Sunlight settles on each rice field terrace in breathtaking moments that pause and reflect my emerging emotions. I find myself moved to tears. Overwhelmed by tides of joy and melancholy. What is it like for the Balinese to see their home through my eyes. Eyes that luxuriate upon selective vistas and words that elaborate and extenuate what is simply ‘home’ for them. My vocabulary speaks in the future tense already regretting the day I must leave and the memories I’ll behold in the past, whereas, they remain. They speak only in the present – all that was, is, and should be – forever described as now. No other time and place. Just here – their home. Always.
The clouds of the wet season determine where the sun shall shine and for how long. The winds predictably blow in advance of the rains providing a momentary lift from the humidity. It sprinkles and cascades blessings of nourishment upon the fields offering seasonal provisions of fruits and vegetables including the essential and ever present rice. All culminate in ceremonial offerings and thanks.
We need each other. I could not exist without their services and guidance. They require the tourist dollar, though temporary, to sustain employment and their families. A respectful and harmonious balance is maintained. We teach each other vocabulary and customs. Our words are polite and courteous. We laugh at each other’s struggle as our tongues slip over pronunciations and intonations garble our meaning and intentions. We are patient and accepting because of our mutual interdependence upon each other. And yet I can leave and will. They remain and must, for it is their home.
I am struck by how blessed I am to have come to this place and to have spent a moment here. To have felt these emotions. To have grappled with the ensuing dilemmas. To have considered possibilities. To have dreamed and wondered. To have known the heat and humidity. To have fallen asleep to the chorus of frogs and geckos and crickets. To have met every Wayan, Made, Nyoman, and Kadek. To realize how much there is to learn. To be humbled and honoured. To be filled with grace for this time and place. I am at peace. Thank you for this temporary resting place. Terima Kasih
Sesame Salad Dressing
I noticed that a number of the raw food eating establishments in Ubud, Bali used a sesame salad dressing. I came up with my own, trying to mimic the simple taste I enjoyed while there. I will let you come up with the amounts. Below are the ingredients.
- lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Medjool date, pitted
Blend all ingredients and adjust flavourings to your taste. Add more water to thin and provide a consistency you prefer.