Weathering Turbulence

I had barely gotten off the plane and landed back in Ubud when the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan up and down, inside and out, here and there, pretty much all over the place.

Sure, there was the whole hullabaloo surrounding the ungracious kick out of my last jungle-abode, capped by a few uncalled for and ugly text messages ordering me to get out (giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’ll just assume that he didn’t fully appreciate the nasty tone implicit in his messages). Like a stealth bomber, I packed silently and moved all my gear out under the cover of darkness.

But there were more, too many more, incidents and accidents this past week that gave me pause. What was going on…?

An overnight trip to Tabanan turned into an unexpected two-night adventure when high winds turned into the tropical equivalent of a mid-winter, slash-and-burn whiteout, when only the hardiest or foolish souls venture outdoors. ­­­No electricity for two days, followed – the last day – by a complete water shutdown. Power lines fell alongside fallen coconuts, avocados, cacao fruit and tree limbs; great big chunks of corrugated metal roof flew off the large storage shed, which also doubles as sleeping quarters for the laborers; dogs and roosters went amok; cats and cows cowered; clay tiles tumbled off the roof and onto the bathroom floor; refrigerated food spoiled quickly – despite the few bags of ice we managed to pick up from a small shop; leaves blew through the house with a vengeance and the wind pounded unstoppably into the upper floor, leading me to tie up a pair of windows that threatened to come unhinged.

Even the blades of inactive (i.e. powerless) ceiling fans began to swirl, thanks only to winds blowing through eaves the window seams. Unable to use chargers, our cellphones went dead, laptops sat unused and camera batteries lay still. It was an utterly eventful experience, leading us to sweep regularly, catch clothes flying through the air, reminisce about camping in our youth, express sympathy for the villagers’ homes and rice crops.

Concerned as we were about the laborers’ destroyed quarters, we did the best we could; arranging an alternate sleeping ares (which they declined) and treating them to a range of veggies, eggs and sweets that aren’t typically part of their daily diet. Mother Nature really did a number on them.

Once back in Ubud, I discovered that both my yoga teachers had fallen off their motorbikes – within one week of each other; both blessed and grateful for ending up with only minor injuries (eerily similar scrapes and scabs on their legs). I heard about progressing illnesses and impending deaths; about businesses closing and relationships ending. And then, because I only move back into my previous guesthouse tomorrow, I was once again, for all intents and purposes… homeless.

But, even in tumultuous times, one finds the seeds of hope, little rays of light that cause us to wade through the muck of despair and instability, of poor health or pain. And so I did: Friends offered me a place to stay while I lingered in this residential limbo-state; I found joy in hearing a new instrument and learning to play; and Kadek (my massage therapist/healer) and I made a startling discovery in my body, a tiny but searing point of nerve pain had, with patience, hard work and a whole lot of trust and faith, simply disappeared.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

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