I’ve been posting photos from Bali on instagram and when I flicked through them yesterday, I realised that they weren’t telling the whole story.
If you’ve never been to Bali before you could easily believe that it is an idyllic island paradise abound with rice paddies, stone temples, coconuts and infinity pools. And it is! But it is also a place subject to poverty; chickens crow on the streets, the pavement has gaping holes, the power lines hang low and there are stray dogs and cats en masse. Piles of rubbish burn on the side of the street and cigarette butts line the road; noise and fumes and litter permeate the air. So too does incense and frangipani and laughter. The yin and the yang.
Bali has a big heart; it’s a deeply spiritual place where the ritual of honouring the gods is practised daily. It’s beautiful to witness; a woman laying an offering, lighting incense and saying prayer in the midst of a busy, busy street. A moment of reverence and mindfulness while the world clatters on around her.
There’s a lot to learn here.