When I go out to meet the light, the shadow of my body follows me, but the shadow of my spirit precedes me and leads the way to an unknown place
- Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Day in Belum Rainforest Resort

Today I witnessed the most spectacular sunset of my life over a fresh water lake in the Belum rainforest in the northern state of Perak near the Thai border. I drove here yesterday looking for a revival and I found one in the sky. Since I acquired a car over a month ago, I've been making excursions out of the city on the weekend to seek cleaner air and better scenery.

I arrived here and I thought to myself that this was going to be a waste of a 5 hour drive and a long weekend. There's too many people here and it's too commercialized. I'm going to return to the city even more resentful of the drudgery my life had become since I became more focused on my professional work life. Lately, it seemed that I had lost my moorings and drifted out to sea abandoned by the wind and cut off from the rest of the world.

After breakfast I rowed a bamboo raft onto the middle of the lake. It was one of the simplest boats, ten bamboo shafts tied together and held rigid by 4 sticks acting as cross beams. The propulsion device was a 5 ft shaft sliced down the middle, essentially an oar. It took a lot of rowing to get a short distance. After a few minutes of concerted rows I turned back and was crestfallen to see the shore was still so near. The funny thing about self-powering on the water is that the effort never seems to produce the expected proportional result in terms of locomotion. But if you persist you can find that open space where the placidness of the lake wraps and enshrouds you. It softens the outside of you, makes you permeable again so the light can find its way inside of you once more.

And when the light is alive in you, it makes you turn your head up to the sky often enough so that you catch the glimpse of the wondrous tapestry of colors masterfully woven over your head. I saw that dazzling combination of soft intense hues of violet, orange, blue and patches of grey cloud highlighted in the right places emblazoned adrift on the rainbow sky like burning ships. Is this really the planet that I live in?