Rain & Reset

Under clear blue skies, we left Ubud & drove up to Penatahan this morning, on schedule, with many things on the agenda; for all of us. After unpacking, eating lunch and resting, I’d intended to wander over to the site and see what the labyrinth was ‘up’ to…

But then the rains came. And with them a sudden urgency – to nap. What to do.. I caved.

And then, the showers turned to drops which turned to droplets which turned to dead silence. Such silence that I was shaken awake.

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I dressed – hoodie too (dingin sekali, so cold, with the rain!) – and headed outside. Walking through the banjar (hamlet), it was all but empty, villagers still nestled away in their homes.

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The workers were sawing and hammering inside, patching up windows.

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Patricia and Sangtu discussed waterworks and drainage systems with the gardener.

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The papaya trees overflowed with fruit.

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The basil plants were bursting from the earth, their aroma almost rendering me dizzy.

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The medicinal garden was in a partially flooded state.

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The stalks reached far higher than I could have imagined, creating an entire wallpaper of corn.

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Just beyond the corn, across from the private rooms, I came upon this scene and gasped.

IMG_7842Where was all the grass? Where did the lime stones disappear to? What happened to the labyrinth??

OK, to be fair, Patricia had warned me that a crew called in last week were making efforts to save the parched earth and grass, pounded as they had been by a blistering sun.

I had to temper my shock and sadness, had to understand and appreciate that people were trying to help – not destroy.

And then I stepped back, looked around at the kumis kucing spreading its white whiskers this way and that, and I suddenly realized that this was a temporary glitch, that nature was working wonders in its typically mysterious ways, that I was no match for mother earth – nor did I have ultimate control over its growth (unless I wanted to introduce chemicals), that what I was witnessing was yet another unexpected pit-stop on the organic, still-evolving path and process of birthing a labyrinth in natural surroundings.

Who was I to think that it might all work according to my/our plan?

I felt humbled.

It was a necessary, steep-curve learning experience. About gardening. About weeding, ants, dried out grass – and, ultimately, patience.IMG_7889

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