Sri Lanka has welcomed us with open arms, gentle waves and incredible sunsets.
We are grateful.
We’ve found a warmth of heart here that reaches out far beyond the limitation of poverty and the hardships of injustice. There’s a colourful vibrancy reflected in the turquoise blues of the ocean and the rich golds of the skies, that appears insurmountable.
Ayubowan is the local greeting, well, it’s more of a blessing really, to wish you a long life and great happiness. That’s exactly what the location has gifted me, well the happiness at least, the rest … who knows.
And this makes me think of the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh,
“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way…”
I’ve just had the realisation that Master Hanh might be right.
Saying that, a few little things have helped stock happiness bank of late …a blessing by the Buddhist monk up in a Golden Temple; eating fresh coconuts that have fallen direct to our feet; enjoying lazy lefts that lap gently to shore; experiencing the daily frenzy of Tuk Tuk life; eating fresh fish caught a few minutes earlier straight from the sea and pampering ourselves with centuries old Aruveydic treatments that ease those jet-lagged limbs and uplift the mind.
But to bring us back to earth….
There’s undoubtedly severe hardship here and an ongoing fight for survival on every street corner. It’s stark, its brutal and it’s ravaging. The abandoned houses hit by the Tsunami are still very much in evidence too, with the ghosts of 2004 still haunting the landscape with a dower and ominous presence.
But underneath all this poverty and pain, there’s still a deep and abiding poetry.
The poetry of life.
A Divine Feminine rises so majestically that she’ll take your breath away with her beauty as she births another day to wrap you in a honeyed illusion. Life, colour and vibrancy exude from every breath of this rich landscape and its turquoise waters. It illuminates, it inspires and it sustains our very soul.
And so I leave you now with another quote that I’ve come to love and think it apt after my recent Buddhist blessing.
“The mind knows no answers. The Heart knows no questions.”
Maybe that’s what Sri Lanka is teaching me … to see with my heart, to speak with my heart, to feel with my heart, to hear with my heart and to communicate with my heart.
Maybe this is the message these photos bring to you too or maybe it’s another, but I leave you now so that Sri Lanka can to speak to you direct, heart to heart.
May you have a long life and great happiness, friend.