Finding Beauty on a Busy Hwy 1 – West Java

The colorful hats against the green rice was the most beautiful part of the day.
The colorful hats against the green rice was the most beautiful part of the day.

Today was another day on our bicycles that I would compare to the Washington, DC beltway traffic on a Friday  before a three day weekend. lt was non-stop noise, traffic, obstacles, and concentration. But instead of looking for the negative as I did in the last post, I decided to look for something a little more positive.

Admittedly beauty was hard to find, but just before the heat from the noonday sun sent us in search of shade, the traffic all but disappeared. My best guess is that most of the men answered the Friday prayer call and went to the mosque. Finally,  I was able to relax a bit a look at the scenery around me.

To my left were beautiful, thick, green patches of young rice. Women wearing colored triangular bamboo hats were standing in brown paths between the green rice. They were bent over weeding or thinning the green blades of rice. The hats juxtaposed against the lush green fields made a beautiful picture.

I signaled to Eric that I was stopping and pulled off the highway.

“ Grab the camera. I want a picture,” I commanded Eric.
“Of what?” he asked.
How could he not notice the beautiful hats?!
“Of the ladies working in the field. Isn’t is beautiful?”

While he was digging through his “bucket”, his name for his Ortleib handlebar bag, to find the camera, one of the women in the field noticed that we’d stopped. I put on a big smile and gave a big wave.

“Salamat siya! (Good day!) ” I yelled.
“Siya” she yelled back waving and blowing kisses.

Then she must have told the other women to look up because they all stopped working and started waving. I waved back with both hands. They kept blowing kisses. I blew kisses back.

I wondered if their supervisor would be angry because I stopped them working, but I think the women were loving the break in their routine.

More waves. More air kisses.

“Eric, have you taken that picture, yet?” as I watch him methodically trying to shoot the picture without capturing the giant power line in between some of the women.

I can edit that pole out of the picture at home tonight.  Just hurry up and take the picture of the women waving and blowing kisses with their beautiful hats.

So, you get the picture. Eric didn’t get the “picture” I wanted.  So, you’ll just have to trust me. It was a beautiful scene.