A thoughtful life is not rushed – Nostalgia of Bali days

As I was looking for a picture to use in a guest post I wrote for an educational blog, I stumble on the folder of my trip to Bali. Since I am easily distracted I started to skim the pictures.

Oh nostalgia!

One month of paddy fields, noodles, walks, sun and swims. It was all so relaxed.

Breakfast at BaliThere is a calm charm there. The homestay I booked was simple but very welcoming. The friendliness of the hosts always keeping an eye on your needs, introducing new people, suggesting activities and inviting us to go to the nearest piscine hotel.

I remember being in my little terrace having a kopi  ‘coffee’ from which I certainly drunk too much  looking at the sunset behind the paddy fields while the host’s mother passed topless wearing only the sarong covering her legs ready to bath herself.

The late scorching nights. Outside. Working while bats and multiple insects flew around me, being the only light in miles around.

The late mornings awaken with the sounds of laughter and working in the kitchen. Those breakfasts! Oh, those breakfasts!

I was still working. But when I was not I could relax completely. And that’s what I miss. This slow peace of life. This enjoyment of the simple things. Something that is more difficult to achieve in the cities.

I am living in Berlin now. And I must confess that I am loving it. Vibrant. Active. Alternative. These are adjectives that best describe it for me, but nothing related with calm, silence and simplicity.

“I would like to spend the rest of my days in a place so silent–and working at a pace so slow–that I would be able to hear myself living.” — Elizabeth GilbertThe Signature of All Things

Swimming poolWe live too fast. We don’t enjoy just being somewhere, instead we are rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, that heavy breathing that brings us closer to anxiety, instead of shallow deep breaths which would bring us closer to our core.

Sometimes we just need to take a moment to just stop and look around. 

I discovered this poem recently, which is probably one of the reasons of this post. It’s all connected.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

“Leisure”, by William Henry Davies

Probably there is no need to go back to Bali to experience this kind of awareness and presence in the day. Probably what we need is only to slow down the pace, look around, breathe in, breathe out and smell the brewing coffee, hold it in your hands and feel the warmth, slowly bring it closer to your lips and sip.

There is time.