Today is the day of the full moon – Hari Raya Purnama. Today and tomorrow countless religious ceremonies (upacara) will take place in the temples all over Bali, as the phases of the moon are cornerstones of the Hindu-Balinese religious calendar.
Instead of heading to one of those ceremonies in Batuan alongside some foreign-students friends at the invitation of one of our teachers though, I went to South Sanur beach for some quiet time.
South of Sanur beach proper begins a stretch of coast that is visited much more by locals than by tourists (the further you go south, the fewer tourists, generally). I spent a lovely evening watching the light change in the course of the sunset, right next to a group of Indonesian teenagers singing cheesy songs and playing guitar. I was touched by the happiness of a Muslim family relaxing and taking pictures together on the shore. I watched dozens of crabs of all sizes emerge from under the rocks and walk up and down the stones all around me. A solitary elderly fisherman sat down nearby who seemed to seek solitude and silence just as much as I did and gazed thoughtfully out to the sea, listening to the waves. I walked back along the beach after nightfall admiring the bright full moon, bigger and brighter than usual and only occasionally hidden behind rugged clouds.
While driving back home my eyes locked with the workers on the back of a truck, with a child half asleep on the back of a motorbike, with an old woman packing up her stall by the side of the road. I listened to the sounds on a nearby construction site, barely visible in the dark, and saw that work went on there long after dark.
I realised that driving is much like living your life: The faster you go, the less you seem to notice of the world around you. The more at peace you are, the more you become aware of different paths and possibilities opening up to you.
Tonight was the night I began to feel the need to reconnect to my own country, to reconnect to Europe. I’m beginning to feel I need to find time, make time to let people I care for know what is happening in my life here on Bali. Had it not been for today, the blogs you have read so far might not actually have been written… Full moon or no, it’s been a very contemplative evening xD