It might only be a few seconds’ worth, but long enough to appreciate it. Motorcycles and cars and tourist vans are out of sight. Dogs are napping under the blistering sun. The vendors – bells, whistles, voices – are busy in other neighborhoods.
Silence is even more likely on a Sunday morning. Especially right after a temple festival has wrapped up; nobody is too keen to do anything. And most construction projects have ground to a halt for the day.
So, sometimes a long empty stretch of road lies directly ahead of me. (Except for chickens crossing the road)
Yum. Such pristine… shhhhhhh.
I wander down the road – so empty that I permit myself the normally dangerous act of walking down the middle – I find myself yearning for the perpetual silence of Nyepi; dogs are kept indoors, businesses are closed, the roosters’ crowing volume somehow seems turned down and the Balinese (and tourists as well) are forbidden from leaving home.
It seemed like such a good idea, Nyepi, that I thought it should become enacted into weekly observance. In fact, I’ve been entertaining the idea of proposing it to my hamlet’s klian – adat chief, head of village administration and laws; with whom I happened to have a meeting this morning. 🙂
That inkling of an idea accompanied me all day long, everywhere I walked, popping up in conversations, in unexpected moments: Nyepi. Nyepi. Would love more Nyepi…
Which may be the reason I was less than surprised when, at about 7:15 pm, the lights literally went out, as far as my eyes could see.
I was giddy.
The power returned 30 minutes later. Long enough for me to lie back on the bench on my porch, revel in the Nyepi-esque darkness and subdued noises, gaze up at the stars, the greyish outline of trees in the distance and be ever so thankful to have my mindful wish answered – if only for half an hour… and be ever-so thankful.