Standing barefoot at the top of rock with the water pelting down on me from the sky and from the waterfalls surrounding me, I thought, "I'm WAY out of my usual element here. But this- THIS is my TRUE element." Nature. Water. The wilderness.
This past year I've tried many new things and stepped outside of my comfort zone in my work, my art, and in my relationships. But Bali has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone in a different way. A few weeks ago after getting physically assaulted by a random stranger while riding BART, my defenses were WAY up. I became distrustful of people and was on-guard at all times, not wanted to engage or make eye contact with anyone for fear of what they might do to me.
Last Friday, a local driver picked me up at my guesthouse. It was 1:45am. It was a 1.5 hour drive to the base of Mount Batur. I slept in the car while a stranger drove me in the dark to a location I was unsure of, to meet a local guide who I'd never met. We arrived, I was greeted, handed a walking stick and a flashlight, and we started up the mountain in the dark. The path began to get very steep and slippery, so my guide held my hand 80% of the time during the uphill trek so I wouldn't fall backwards. I placed complete faith in a stranger who was true to his word and kept me safe. This was blind trust at its finest.
At the top, I was escorted to a warm tent, where water was boiling and I was served hot Balinese coffee, banana sandwiches, and fruit. Someone was playing "When You Say Nothing At All" on the guitar, and we sang and harmonized together and watched the sunrise. It was because of the kindness of these locals that I had even safely made it up here and able to experience this magical moment.