Since arriving in Sri Lanka, I’ve found myself noticing and appreciating seemlingly small things that likely would have passed me by before.
More than ever, I feel in tune with my surroundings. I’m sure it is partly due to slowing down, and taking time to take in the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors around me. I’m also sure that since moving to Qatar, I’ve been desperately missing so many of these things without even realizing it.
The Sounds of Life:
Right now we are sitting on our balcony, just listening. Besides the rain drops hitting the grass roof, I can hear frogs, birds, crickets and other insects, dogs barking, laughter, soft chattering that I can’t make out, a television program coming from somewhere in the distance, pots and pans in the kitchen next door, and tuk-tuks reving their engines. It’s like music.
Birds, dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, insects, monkeys, elephants, water buffalos, wild bores, crocodiles, crabs, fish, you name it, we’ve seen it. Besides elephants, the dogs have been my favorite. They are on every street corner, on the steps of every restaurant, waiting for tired tourists at the top of each hike, rolling in the sand on the beach, and curled up under the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (waiting patiently for a taste). All of the pups we’ve encountered have been so friendly, playful, and sweet.
Everything is vibrant, so colorful, and beautiful. The clothing, the houses, the fruit, the markets, the buses and tuk-tuks, the flowers, the landscape, and the people. In Qatar, where the buildings come in many shades of beige, I’ve been deprived of color. I realize now how happy hues of blue, pink, yellow, and red make me feel!
Specifically, the Color Green:
Of all the colors in Sri Lanka, my most favorite is green. The shades of green, especially in Ella, are breathtaking. I’ve caught myself many times staring into the hills and tea gardens, completely mesmerized by the amount of green. The natural landscape in this country is unbelievably beautiful.
When most people go on vacation, the thought of rain is dreadful, and a few days of rainfall could ruin an entire trip. Those people have obviously never lived in a desert climate before! Surprisingly, the almost daily afternoon rainfall on our trip hasn’t bothered me one bit. It is peaceful, cools the air, and forces us to truly relax.
There is nothing better than fresh mango, bananas, and papaya grown in the backyard. The fruit smoothies and fruit plates are flavorful and delicious and all grown locally. The curry dishes are made with beet root, green beans, eggplant, and whatever vegetables are in season. On the coast, the menu features the catch of the day – fish, prawns, calamari. Whatever the fishermen brought in is what you get.
In just a few days, Sri Lanka has helped me recognize the small things in life that I’ve come to appreciate most. Never again will I take these for granted!