I arrived home from Bali with so much. Some textiles, some beads, a few new things to wear and read and listen to. I came home with all the inspiration gained from the amazing people I was blessed to spend time with. I came home feeling refreshed from having taken the time for myself away. I came home feeling more peaceful, more centered than I have in a long time, no doubt due to the amazingly generous and peaceful hearts I was fortunate to spend time with. I came home with a renewed commitment to daily meditation and yoga. I came home with new friends. A desire for more color in my life. Different food in my body. And I came home with a bit of new ink.
In a part of the world that looks so very different from my own - where nearly every tree, plant, and stone was new to my eyes - the first flower that I saw in Bali was a marigold. The very same common marigolds that I grow in my own backyard here on the other side of the world. The ones my children and I string together to make necklaces and garlands with, and that fill my house and garden all summer long. The marigolds appeared throughout my trip - in our flower mandalas, on walks by temples and homes, and on every Ganesha. It was a chain of marigolds that was placed around my neck in the blessing after my deeply moving visit to a spiritual healer at the beginning of my trip. And it was marigolds that were in the offerings we presented at the holy springs temple to end our visit. A few days into our adventures, realizing their significance and the significance of this journey, I dashed a text to the talented Phoebe Wahl with a "hey, so do you think you could whip me up a marigold?"....and that she did. A lot of quick research (made humorous by a language barrier), a funny motorbike ride to the photocopy machine, a few deep breaths with my dear friend getting her own tattoo as well....and I had my forever reminder. A reminder that the same sense of peace that I felt on this journey in Bali, is the very same sense of peace I can find in my own backyard. It's with me always. Just like the marigolds.
This journey was indeed a trip of a lifetime, and I am so full of gratitude for having experienced it. And gratitude to you for so patiently sharing in the journey alongside me!