100 seasons…

the first cake...

On the 26th of September, I crossed the finish line to a quarter century, my birthday marking 100 seasons of life, and the true beginning of my adult life. Birthday’s aren’t really celebrated so much in Indonesia, so I really wasn’t expecting much, all I wanted was a stress free day and a nice dinner with my friends, what I got was so much more.

It has been raining in the village for the past week or so, but on sunday the sun came out, the waves were clean and glassy for the sunrise surf that I enjoyed with my close friends and housemates and it was clear that the day was off to a good start. The sun stayed out all day and not a drop of rain hit the ground, even the night was clear and starry – the morning after the rain started again, and still continues now.

The day was perfect, surfing, chocolate chip french toast followed by a long day playing games with friends on the beach, plenty of fresh juice, lots of laughter and then as the day was coming to a close a suprise chocolate chip banana cake complete with candles was delivered to me by a large group of friends who sang and clapped and helped me devour it at our favourite spot on the sand. The afternoon was just the beginning, we were about to dive head first into a party that was filled with beer, food and home brew rice wine.

We got home to find a large bag of fish that had been delivered as a gift from a friend… the boys then began to arrive and by candle light killed, cleaned and gutted the fish in preperation for the meal. The fish were then cooked over a fire that was built in the walkway of our bungalow home whilst friends gathered together, drank beer and talked. My favourite resto in the village is run by a family who are one of two wonderful families who have taken me under their wing. As dinner was being prepared, they showed up with an elaborate chocolate cake with all the trimmings which was delivered to me by candle light. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with hugs and kisses and handshakes and wishes of a long life, to always be beautiful, to always have my health and to always live here, where I am welcomed by open arms and friendship every day. I blew out my candles and realised that I had little to wish for, everything that makes life worth living is right here.

As a teenager I had goals, I had a life plan. This was never the plan. Living in a village on the coast of an island, close to home but worlds apart… was never my idea of how I would spend my life. In fact, even if you had asked me just one year ago, where I would be to celebrate my silver jubilee of life, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. But I always find it amazing, that the one thing you never planned for, the thing you never strove for, the thing that you never wished for… can turn out to be exactly what you need and exactly where you belong.

the second cake...

The party was great fun, it included a huge meal of fish, rice, sambal and karedok (a spicy bean shoot and tofu sundanese dish) and 20 people who I love sat with me around banana leaves on our verandah and ate with their hands whilst laughing and chatting and enjoying eachothers company. There were cake fights, and laughing fits and dancing, there was music and photographs and many shots of rice wine. There were friends who left and those who stayed. Everyone was smiling, everyone was laughing. There were conversations that pushed boundaries, and as always there were drunken silliness. I went to bed with a drunk lazy body and a smile on my face. Full of beer, wine and food, after a day of being loved. What more could y0u possibly want from any birthday but a true celebration of your life?

I’ve never had a birthday where I didn’t recieve a single present, there was no colourful wrapping to open, no cards with best wishes to read… And it didn’t matter in the slightest. It was a perfect day, and the start of the next year in my life, the start of the next chapter… and a perfect way to begin.

What happens in the next few months is bound to shape the rest of my adult life, every decision that I am faced with right now is sculpting my future. And although this is not what I had planned, that this is not what other people expected of me… this is where I am right now… and this is exactly where I want to be. Great things will become of me here…

Barefoot, another year older… worlds away from home.

4 Responses to “100 seasons…”
  1. Deanna says:

    Happy birthday, beautiful, welcome to the next quarter! Thinking of you, and sending you hugs. xox

  2. Meagan says:

    Welcome to my quarter!! It’s daunting isn’t it…but exciting at the same time!

    I am heading to Indonesia on October 19th for a 6 month solo backpacking trip starting in Indonesia and ending in India. I have a lot of questions for you regarding your volunteer work so if you wouldn’t mind answering some of them I would really appreciate some advice. Also, if you’d be keen to meet up while I’m in your neck of the woods that would be fabulous. So anyway, I hope you email me to help out a fellow traveller, If not, I will certainly still read your blog!

    Thanks again!

  3. Jason says:

    Happy belated birthday Sash!

    Sounds like a great celebration. I look forward to more blogging from you in the next 100 seasons.


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