Sri Lanka: Remembering How to See

Dumballa Cave Temples
 My family has a mysterious hip dysfunction that, when at its worse, makes sitting for any period of time agonizing. A few years ago I spent a sweltering DC summer trying to figure it out which amounted to basically remembering how to walk and how to sit. I felt like a 4 year old. 

At breakfast a few days ago I was thinking through how to write about our recent trip to Sri Lanka when my hip pain became enough to distract me from thoughts of lush green jungles. I paused, took a deep breath,  lifted my rib cage and tilted my pelvis slightly forward to settle back onto the chair with purpose.  Remember how to sit. The phrase often comes to my head when the pain becomes too much. I sit taller and re-align my shoulders and I can usually manage the position.

And it hit me.  Remembering how to see.  That is what this trip was about. In fact, now that I think about it, for me travel is always about remembering how to see. How to see the value in people very different from myself, how to see fractured national identities resulting from power and place, how to see the incredible effects of natural forces over time. How to see God in practices very unlike my own and how to see suffering that has never directly affected me.

We explored temples, ate delicious spicy curries, drove through misty mountain jungle passes, rode elephants and relaxed in what we affectionately think of as our "jungalow" but mostly we remembered how to see.     

Dumballa Cave Temples


On the path from Nur Eliya