Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tokays and Animal Insights

I have a few posts to catch up on in this blog and was hoping no one would actually notice we were already in Bali thus giving me time to do a sneaky few days catch up.

Alas too much has happened already so excuse me in the future digressing back to past events, but there is so much to share right now!

Arriving back in Bali, we made our way to our little village and our delightful new home, we have rented a small but sweet little one bedroom cottage. Not quite bali style but more a mix of old fashioned English blended with tropical style. It is smaller than we expected, isn't it strange how something can be clearly depicted yet appears slightly different in person. We are quite in love with our little home.

As we arrive, the villages are filled with a huge ceremony causing major traffic jams with magnificently dressed women carrying huge offerings on their heads,the air is thick with the small of incense mixed with pandan and floral undertones.

We arrive to our small lane way and drag bags up over the narrow concrete pathway through the rice fields. Our outdoor bathroom is hot and damp and a quick dip in the pool in the moonlight is a perfect pick me up to the travel induced weariness.

We settle in under a huge netted bed and drift off to the sound of bamboo clanking in the gentle night breeze and the call of frogs and geckos in the distance.
Awakening at 5am (thanks very much Mr Rooster), we push open the shutters to another simply perfect day, my daughter comes racing in saying "I know it's early but you just have to see this".

We hurry to the lounge room and there is an enormous tokay (gecko like lizard) on the roof winking at her, it is one of the largest we have seen.

Well that is extremely good news, in Balinese mythology they believe that if a tokay visits you it is a sign that the spirit of the land welcomes you. If he arrives in your home on the first day, he is protecting you from burglars for the duration of your stay.

We thanked him and he immediately pooped on the floor, fantastic, another sure sign of blessings and welcome.
Stone Dragon / Lizards guard the Monkey Forest

Back to the bedroom, figuring we were already up now, we may as well welcome the day, the sun streams through the slits in the shutters as I stretch up and give a gentle push, they were stuck! A slightly firmer shove and splat, something heavy and slightly slimy lands on my shoulder (only a small squeal ensued before i composed myself). The hairs stood up on my arm as I very cautiously glanced across to see what was making up this rather heavy brooch on my shoulder - "please don't be anything hairy" ran through my mind.

Two large wide open eyes blinked at me and with their own silent squeal leapt off my shoulder as the (slightly smaller) tokay leapt on to the floor and hurridly hid behind a power point.

A long sigh gently released - wonderful, another blessing to delight in!

But the wildlife and visiting party was not to end there, opening the other window it took quite some coaxing to get the green tree frog to relinquish its hold on the inside window and relocate to the garden bed, along with a few scary looking but harmless spiders. All under the joyful eyes of the smaller lizards.

Our good luck was to continue as we were regaled with stories of the messages the visiting animals bring to us.

Apparently, if a gecko or tokay poops on you, it is good luck, much the same as in the western culture we believe it to be good luck if a new baby wees on you.

Another custom is to count the calls of the tokay / gecko or chikchak, similar to our game with flower petals of "he loves me, he loves me not", if you have a question you need to answer, you can repeatly say the 2 sides of it over and over and pay attention to which answer you are on when he stops his calling to receive your intuitive answer.

There are many other stories of these lovely lizards including them being known as "F**k off" as some believe this is the sound of their calling and I was told tales of how the Cambodians feared them in war times as this sound means the same as the word "suffocation" which in the dead of war torn nights was enough to instill fear in the hearts of the soldiers.

For us, the energy of these lovely lizards is one of great beauty and gentleness. Their large soft eyes gaze up at you with a softness of spirit that only some members of the animal world possess.

Later in the day, sitting on the balcony I was reading Balinese mythological stories to my daughter as a large lizard slithered out. I'm not sure what he is - he appears like a salamander or short snake with legs. He hid in the bushes and every time I began to read, he crept out into the sun and tilted his head to listen. When I stopped reading, he slithered back in, only venturing our again to hear the story as it continued. It was such a beautiful experience of being at one with the surroundings, the culture and the lovely animals that we currently share our home with.