We watched a funeral procession today in the streets of Sanur, while enjoying lunch, and the people were smiling.
There was beautiful music being played on cymbals and drums and women with baskets of food on their heads. There were colourfully crafted bamboo towers that men carried through the streets, incense burning. There were other men dressed in brown robes with cymbals chiming and finally, the white casket atop one of the colourfully decorated bamboo towers made its way past us as Indonesian men and women sang and laughed and banged their drums. It was truly a celebration of life, and it was beautiful.
We were having a late breakfast at the Warung Little Bird cafe which is this cute little joint on the main drag run by 6 brothers; the food is fresh and delicious and the smiles are free flowing. We had started chatting with a lovely retired Aussie couple about their experiences in Bali, when the procession started to flow past us.
The women wore brightly coloured dresses and carried baskets of food on their heads as offerings. There was a lightness in the step of the people and instead of the morose, grieving posse we are used to seeing at funerals as Canadians, this procession felt joyous and light. They were honouring the life of this person in a way I have never seen before and it touched our hearts and made us stop to watch the event.
I've been able to reflect quite a bit so far on this trip and one of the common themes I keep coming up with is how truly grateful I am for our life back home. Travelling is such a beautiful thing. It helps you to not only appreciate your new surroundings and experiences, but also gives you a newfound appreciation for your life back home and the little things you usually would take for granted seem more special while abroad.
One of the things I've truly been reminded of on this journey is how little we think of sickness until it smacks us in the face. I try to advocate a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, but even I get sidetracked and take for granted my good health. When Brandon and I were rocked with violent food poisoning and heat exhaustion this past week, I realized just how little we think about the world of the sick until we're in it. It really is true what they say, "health is wealth". Without it, we have nothing.
So this week, I challenge you to be mindful of your health. Appreciate it for all that it is and celebrate your body for all that it does for you. Because we never really miss being healthy until we aren't anymore. Be like the Balinese, and take joy in this life we get to experience. Respect your body. Feed it good, whole food. Move your body and get sweaty. Drink water and spend time outdoors. We only get one shot at it, so we might as well make it one hell of a good life.