Getting my Greens (& Golds)

I’d grown weary of the relentless parade of concrete, cement, cinderblocks; the onslaught of chimney-like blasts of smoke pelting at me from lead-filled trucks, buses and motorbikes.

Escape was imminent. Necessary. For health & spirit.

I know I’ll still get to Munduk sometime. Sure I love the ocean, but Amed wasn’t on the mind – nor any other beach, for the time being. Ditto for the Gilis or Nusa Lembongan. I toyed with the idea of Tabanan…I’m overdue for a return to a place of silence, and the labyrinth I created there a few years back. Pemuteran and Les held promise too – for a day.

But, for better or worse – but usually for best – my heart belongs to Sidemen.

Where else can I still wake up to:ย A massive flush of green. Deep through the valleys, all along the hillsides. Verdant old-growth forest. Drips with ancient moss, weeds, vines, creepers, moist rotted bark.

Where can I be assured of being greeted by an unparalleled panorama. A sweeping, rolling stretch of green fields. Almost dazzling enough to blind you. Will cause you to think you your vision is narrowing down the full color wheel along the spectrum.

Sights for sore eyes. A sun that appropriates so much sky-acreage. And so much silence…

Mount Agung in the far off distance, its peak encircled by thick white cloud still visible in the early morning hours.

I breathe again (sans mask). The air is suffused with fragrant smells. Freshly cut grass – for cows. Ahhh…

This is what green smells like. And golden yellow. (Have you noticed how often nature pairs green + yellow – especially golden?)

Even the scent of manure makes me giddy. I take a whiff. Ahh.. much more preferable to exhaust.

But back to the green.

Bananas. Palm fronds. Long beans. Rice stalks. Even the local kue (sweet treats) from the market that Jero serves are made of green tapioca flour, wrapped around syrupy palm sugar.

Eyes doused with a whopping dollop of green.

But always, there is more…

Belly sated with Made’s thoughtfully prepared dishes.

Dreams buoyed, gifts exchanged. Red rice for coffee. Shampoo for snakefruit. Curlicue straws for young coconut.

Yoga at dawn, practiced. Conversations had.

Farmer-friend visited.

A bridge, once broken now fixed, seen. A second bridge under repair, confirmed.

Zero-the-dog patted. The village walked.

I hit gold. Green quota reached. Check. (At least for now…)



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