The Terrace

Oh no, only four more days here. Oh, NO!  The villa where we are living  is probably my favorite place ever. The ease of everything adds to its appeal – the close to everywhere location, the fresh sheets and towels delivered daily, the inviting lush swimming pool down below, but I love it all. What I love most . . . the catbird’s seat!  Sitting right where I am now, on the terrace.  The humidity and warmth is perfect in the morning. So comfortable and embracing, just the right mix for the human body. This body. And the seat itself – giant, fat, plush, luxurious pillows, five of them. They make sitting anywhere on this large lounge bed a very comfy, fully supported experience. I can’t think of anything ever feeling better behind my back. And the second story view! Just being up high, feeling up high, is wonderful. It”s soul freeing. Elevated. Lofty. Expansive. And the view, well, the view  is perfect. Look to the left and  30 palm trees are right there. RIGHT there. Somehow the ideal viewing distance and height. We are level with the top of the palm trees, but not quite. It’s a perfectly framed  photograph, well cropped to draw attention to the most dramatic and expressive elements. And in the other direction, two scenic rooftops, one sporting two old rusty metal crowns and the other is a warm tan, furry, and richly thatched bamboo, like a stately, very large benign jungle animal. I want to pet it. It’s both calming to the eye and evocative too, a National Geographic structure. At first I thought it was part of the ARMA Museum next door,  a re-creation of a traditional Balinese dwelling. But no, even better, it is a traditional dwelling, maybe an eating hall or relaxing area, of which there are so many around here.

The traditional details on the porch add to the experience. There is a old rusted lamp hanging in the center of the ceiling and a mosquito net tied up loosely over the bed. The net languidly turns in a slow circle whenever there is a slight breeze. The lamp looks colonial, nautical somehow, and at the same time very Balinese with its finely wrought detailed metalwork. The doors and shutters, and the chairs pushed back against the wall, are made of intricately carved wood including foliage intertwined with various patterns and shapes. The two chairs are massively heavy for such small chairs. We can hardly move them. Their faded forest green and pale rose flowers wind and flow into a harmonious pattern on the front, back and sides of the chairs. The wooden frames of the two windows and the split wood door that leads inside, to the interior, are also intricately detailed and finely crafted. The doors center around two Hindu figures, dancing, posed, elegant in flowing costumes or perhaps ceremonial sarongs.

I even love the bathroom sink being on the terrace, forcing tooth brushing, face washing, and dish washing to be done in the warm open air. It’s very pleasant and seems naturally balanced. I much prefer it to a closed bathroom, or even an open air bathroom on the ground level like the one where we will soon be moving. Here it is all up high, on level with the tree tops and looking out over our kingdom below. We eat up here too and the fridge is here. It is the heart of our home, allowing us to experience so much of our lives outdoors. When it’s storming and dark with lightening flickering, we’re here, watching in appreciation, or just tending to the business of life. The deeper business of life – just being – on the comfy lounge bed, yoga on the grass mat, meditating, writing morning pages, and in Matt’s case writing the blog or hours online with the iphone. I too compose email here and read about Bali online. It’s the best place to read. At least until evening starts to fall around 5:00 and we lose the light, and then an hour later when the mosquitos appear. Even then, we are prepared in our contained universe. The mosquito coil comes out, lit by the stiff lighter from the local market, and we carry on.

The few times I’ve slept outside the idea was better than the actual sleeping, mostly because of the mosquito net feeling too close. But still, in the middle of the night there is always a tinge of adventure. The insects, frogs and geckos are SO loud. Too loud really to be able to sleep, but everything contributing to the atmospheric and timeless night. It’s such a luxury to be able to escape the heavily air conditioned sleeping room and come outside in the middle of the night. An instant change of pace, leaving the confines of the too small bed, and the darkness and pressure to sleep when my body isn’t ready. It’s a return to a private little paradise, a late night retreat. Back in the warm air, ahhh, with all the sounds and sensations of the natural world surrounding me. All is good. All is well in the world. Maybe I can recreate some of this in our next home? I’m sure there will be new pleasures, more delights, but right now, it’s hard to move on. – jennifer

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matt & Rita
    May 28, 2013 @ 14:59:30

    Hey Jen — How great to see a post from you! That is a wonderful evocation of a very special place and time.


  2. Susan Meyer
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 21:39:36

    (sent from a lounge in a warm redwood forrest!)


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