Sawah Sunrise is a four room Bed & Breakfast in Ubud, Bali, set among rice fields, accessible only by footpath. Perfect name. Sawah is an Indonesian word that means “individual rice field” and also refers to the wet-rice method of cultivation.
After a warm greeting by our host, and the resident dog and the friendly cat, we sip fruit drinks while sitting on our porch. We have an upstairs room with a view. Surrounded by lush green rice fields, many of which are ready for harvesting, tall palm trees edge the fields with their fringed fronds swaying gently in the breeze. The room’s windows are open and white gauzy curtains flutter through to the porch. Cat sits on my lap settling in.
Across the field is a man tending his noisy ducks. With a long stick he guides them down the raised narrow path and back into their enclosure. The ducks keep insects down and fertilize the rice paddies.
Each field, we notice, has some kind of shrine. We later learn how interwoven rice growing is with the Balinese daily and spiritual life. Dew Sri, the goddess of rice is honored before the rice is planted which must be on an auspicious day. The shrines are littered with daily offerings. Tiny baskets woven from palm fronds are filled with pieces of banana sprinkled with a few grains of rice. Sometimes a hibiscus bloom is added to the offering.
In the fields are a variety of noise makers, each with its own distinct clang or tinkle to chase the birds away from the golden heads of grain. Colorful scarecrows complete the scene.
Two little girls dressed in pink are riding their bicycles back and forth along the path. They get to a little wooden bridge and race across it. A woman in a sarong the color of the brown path calls them home. Time for dinner, we presume.
Sawah Sunrise. I can only imagine what the sunsets are like.
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