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The Island Life

We hiked to a very remote place on the island.  We ended up on an empty beach, whose beauty made my sweat drenched body content with our long walk.  Again silence was appropriate to take in the sights of a world I wouldn’t have believed existed had I not seen it for myself.

Indonesian is an aggressive language.  Similar to many moments listening to Thai, I couldn’t determine whether she was angry or excited.  As this aged woman yelled in my direction, waving her machete,  I began to feel vulnerable.  She was small but strong as she waved her knife with control and knowledge of its workings.  My feet stopped me, even though I was curious as to what she was trying to convey.  She kept walking towards me and out of the tall grove of palm trees came a much younger girl.  With the sight of her I became confident that I would not die.  My feet began working once more. The older lady with skin tanned from sun and sweat pouring down her face took the end of her dress to stop the sweat at least for an instant.  With that she exposed her entire being.  She did not think twice about lifting her dress far above her sagging yet vibrant body.  I looked away, trying to give her a moment of privacy.  But eyes did not bother her. Normality and social restraints were not an issue here. She was free and I admired that.

She took my hand and led me to a branch in the middle of the grove covered in coconuts.  Aged and Young took one side of the branch and Aged motioned me over to a third side that needed lifting.  We lifted.  As we moved deeper into the grove another branch fell from the heavens.  I heard a voice from the same direction.  I looked up.  God was in a palm tree dropping coconuts for these ladies.  He was a little man but one with good grip and an ability to climb that I have never seen.  My young, unworked arms tired much more quickly than Aged and Young.  As I put my side down, not knowing how else to communicate that I could not go any further, they smiled.  Again Aged began motioning her machete towards me.  She sat down on a log and patted the seat next to hers.  I sat next to this aged, free woman and thought about the beauty in her life.  I wondered if she thought it to be just as beautiful as I did.  She chopped off the top of one coconut and handed it to me.  She chopped another and drank it herself.  We sat silently enjoying the water sent from the heavens.

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