Today was a great day! I set out before the heat of the day arrived and headed on foot to Ubud’s rice fields. It’s quite a winding, circuitous route to get there and included a steep and beyond-narrow path with dangerous washouts.
I eventually climbed out onto an expanse of rice fields and felt my heart and vision enlarge to match them. As far as the eye can see are rice fields at varying levels of growth.
I saw fields recently planted, with new shoots still surrounded by water. There were mature, tall-shooted fields, ready for harvest and all growth heights in between.
There were also fields just being turned for one of the three plantings each field can manage annually.
The path along the fields is narrow and lined with palms; in the distance is jungle and beyond, the ever-present volcanoes. Small colorful huts dot the fields where workers store their supplies and, I think, sometimes live.
The very ancient and sophisticated irrigation system carries rainfall and mountain streams, in step-downs, from one field to the next. These are natural irrigation channels enhanced and kept free of debris by the rice workers.
I stopped to say Selamat Pagi to several farmers who beamed their toothless smiles and granted me permission for a photo. They each were curious and apparently pleased with the result. I wished I had a Poloroid so as to hand them each an immediate copy. What a hard life these folks live.
Near the end of the narrow trail I came across a very traditional Warung offering a full menu as well as cooking classes, the latter being in progress with two women from France. I paused for a sit-down and coconut water before retracing my steps back to town.
On my way home, I stopped at (hold your breath…..) STARBUCKS for an iced coffee. I sat on the veranda overlooking two lily ponds and the Water Temple. It offers the best view in the world for enjoying a coffee. The blooming lotus flowers are 6″ in diameter and breathtaking Even in the bright noon sun.
A chat ensued between me and a man from Germany who had grown to a young man in East Berlin while the country was still divided; more than 20 years ago. He spoke at length of the excitement and inspiration of their revolution, the day the military threw up its hands in surrender and the aftermath when people could travel unrestricted throughout Germany. His arms goosebumped and his eyes teared as he spoke of these tumultuous times. We both likened it to the tragedy taking place in Kiev right now.
On my return to Sumantra House, I welcomed Amit for a fancy snack of P-butter and Ritz crackers and we hunkered on the balcony to catch up on our past year. Amit was our yoga instructor last year, returning just this week to Bali from her home country of Canada and soon leaving again for a family reunion in Israel.
The day ended wiith an outstanding dinner on the balcony of Kafe restaurant visiting with a delightful woman from Australia. My neighbor here is from Bulgaria, two new tenants arrive tomorrow from Japan and the man downstairs is from Holland. I love the diversity and opportunity to keep learning.
I wish you blessings and encourage all in curiosity.