I made my way down to the beach to dedicate a meditation to the beautiful people who made my trip to Bali possible. I stood knee deep, fully clothed, in the Indian Ocean just after sunrise. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Several times I caught myself trying to figure out why I was so fortunate. Did I do something extraordinary to receive this generous gift?
As tears streamed down my face, I felt such deep gratitude yet had intermittent thoughts of guilt that made me uneasy. There had to be someone more deserving of this gift than me, right?
As I struggled with these questions and doubts the universe, on cue, responded.
I was approached by an older woman, golden from a lifetime of that warm Bali sun, tiny in stature but huge in presence, holding folded up garments in her arms. In a soft voice, heavily accented she said “Miss. Miss.”, she extended out her stack of material, “you?”.
I felt terrible. This was my last chance to return this great gift and pay it forward by buying the sarongs she had to approached me to sell and of course I left everything, including my wallet and money, behind in my villa. All I had with me was my phone, which was resting on a rock nearby.
Embarrassed, I had to tell her I didn’t have any money with me.
Then, without the slightest hesitation, I saw her grab a long necklace of bamboo and stones from her neck and take it off. She leaned in, smiled, and put it around my neck. She said, “It’s ok. For you.”.
There I was, doubting my worthiness of my gift and in that moment I was given even more. She began to tell me, as best as she could with the language barrier, that she sells sarongs to help feed her grandchildren.
I sobbed. Her generosity exceeded her means.
We hugged, laughed, cried and I promised her that I would keep her and her family in my heart forever. Which was all she asked for in return.
A beautiful and obvious sign to simply be grateful for everything.
Later, I remembered, I had my phone recording my romps in the ocean and I caught most of this exchange on my camera. What a blessing. What a memory to have documented.
Please, with me, say a little prayer for her tonight.