Bali has a spirit all its own, and is quite indescribable. This lovely Indonesian island is filled with magic, waiting to be noticed, under each banana leaf, coconut tree, and hibiscus flower. The people live humbly in communion with nature. The beauty of Bali can be found in the villages, in the terraced rice fields that look delicately carved, stretching through fields as far as the horizon, into nearby villages and beyond. There are coconut trees everywhere, lone trees and clusters of them swaying on hilltops. One day Kadek uses a large stick of bamboo to knock down two coconuts from a tree. He gives me a warm smile that is characteristic of the loving Balinese people. At a leisurely pace, we return to the homestay and cut open the young yellow coconuts, enjoying the fresh, sweet coconut water. I learned how to say “young coconut” in Indonesian: kelapa muda. It definitely beats the stuff I drink from a box at home. In the rice fields, you can find towering banana trees with large green leaves that can be used as an umbrella in the event of an unexpected tropical rainfall.
The spirit of Gaia is alive on the island of Bali. We saunter through the rice fields, stepping with care so as to avoid any holes. In every direction, it is as green as the eye can see. Small birds and insects flitter around, seeking cool refuge under the leaves of plants, peeking out from their hiding places. We spy dragonflies and butterflies, kupu kupu in Indonesian. Lush tropical flowers dangle upside down from the leaves, and my favorite, the small white and yellow frangipani, a delicate and fragrant type of plumeria. The beauty and spirit is everywhere, if only one slows down long enough to feel it. Bali Jegeg beckons to be discovered, appreciated, and adored.