The best sunrise I never saw.

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I just got back from being happily lost. Closed my eyes, spun around and wobbled off down an unknown path. Disappeared into a vortex of paradise, deliberately set myself adrift along a sandy, seashelly shore and let the waves wash me away. I wandered and wondered across brand new pebbles, swung on vines with some new furry friends, soaked up a sugar-infused sun, then howled and danced under a smiling crescent moon. I devoured decadence, lingered in lush and lusty nature, sat perfectly still, seduced by the lull of soporific waves. I befriended the strange, trusted the unusual, opened my mind to the differences and my heart to all. I let go of needing to know and choose to freely explore newfound twists and turns…all leading me towards my true direction.

Getting lost helps me find my way. It helps remind me who I am and where I want to be. It gives me a sense of direction to aim my compass in and take steps to get there. It teaches me that every path has a purpose – whether smooth, bumpy or even a dead end…each reveals what I need to discover, sometimes over and over again, yet ultimately leading me to the fork in the road, where the real adventure starts in choosing which to follow.

These choices come in all shapes and sizes – sometimes super easy – like calamari or prawns?  Mojitos or Margaritas?  OK not so easy. Others a little more challenging…like which monkey to hug…WHAT DO YOU MEAN JUST ONE???? IMPOSSIBLE!!!!  And the most interesting and important choices; those that will determine my state of happiness in any given moment.

The perfect example… the best sunrise I never saw.  It started with months of anticipation for what was touted as the highlight of my Bali trip, an extraordinary journey into the mountains along the crater rim road to an ancient fishing village on the edge of Lake Batur at the foot of the volcanic Mount Batur (1,717m above). The climb was scheduled to begin at 3am, taking approximately 2.5 hrs to reach the summit where we would be treated upon arrival to an awe-inspiring sunrise.  Instead what pursued was a treacherous trek in the pitch dark, up a slippery slope in an all out monsoon. Bundled in layers to fight off the biting winds, my dollar store raincoat inflated into a parachute, lifting me off the ground while gusts of up to 70 mph winds and knife pelting rain tore it’s cheap, plastic to shreds. The deluge of rain surged from the ground creating a horizontal waterfall for us to trudge through. The jagged lava infused rock face had to be navigated on hands and knees to secure our grounding and prevent certain death.  This was not your everyday easy walk in the park. But it was an adventure!  An all-out amazing adventure between humans and nature.  A test of spirit and will. And once we arrived at the summit, we sat under a tin roof, sipping the best worst coffee I’ve ever had in my life. When we stepped outside at dawn we were greeted by a thick white mass of mountain top clouds with zero visibility, zero chance of a sunrise and a 100% sense of teamwork, amazement and accomplishment…oh and there were monkeys there as well.  Life is good…especially when you choose to see it that way!

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