The Gardens of Paradise

The lone coconut tree cuts the horizon like a cross. A visual platter of paradise with a road winding from the river valley below to the crest of the rice fields. When Stokey penned John Henry Bosworth in 1971 he had no idea how tangled the roads would become even in the serene valleys of Bali. To get a psalmist perspective Bosworth climbs the mountain to see how tangled the roads are in the valley. The crest trail permits a brief preview of a made holy paradise.

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The figure slowly wends across the field leaning into the late afternoon breeze. The rice fields wave in salutation!

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At our feet the newly planted rice settles into the fresh muck seeking water and nutrients. Across the valley the terraced fields stack the hillside with walkways of mud dragged from the fields at each planting and returned with each flooding. The waters diverted from the rivers at flood are returned in the dry season through the fields of rice. Plain rice can be harvested three times a year and red rice can be harvested twice a year. There are fewer rice fields each year as farmers sell their land to developers. They are truly “paving over paradise to put up a parking lot.”

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