The wilderness sleeps still basking in the morning gold-still except for the sound of birds somersaulting off the treetops singing a little song to summer.
The beautiful summer in Weerawila is in full bloom. The pastoral song is playing its paradise tunes and the world around thrills to its sweet music.
A wildly wild path meandering through quivering paddy fields; little jungles where the shyest and sweetest of woodland blossoms blush in the morning glow; satin blue streams crooning, hidden amid mossy rocks; the sun shining in marigold gold as if it’s the only day of the summer.
The wonderland of Saraii unravels in front of our eyes like a picturesque scene painted in a myriad of rustic colours. Just then a beautiful knowledge engulfs us-we are in the heart of the woods. Yesterday we were in the dusty city, but we’ve come a long way since. Nothing matters now, except this wild dream sprinkled with sylvan stardust.
Cold towels and a glass of sweet King coconut-together, they have a summer mizzle-like effect on us.
We stare and stare into the wind-swayed glimmering green that looks like a viridescent dreamland. Tucked away in their shadows are charming mud houses as rustic as any little paradise home. But where we belong is not on the ground.
We gotta climb up the giant Palu tree. We are dryads and our home is up there.
The old Palu tree stands tall and sturdy, inviting us into its welcoming arms. Step up the pretty ladder and we are in a cozy cottage tucked amid the virescent foliage. One windy day, long ago, the fairy of winds snatched this pretty home off the village and put it up here, so that humans too could learn the gladness that overflows in a treetop nest. There it remains, welcoming all the winds that slush and swish through the tree.
‘Welcome home’ whispers the pretty cottage.
The woodsy smell of old tree branches; the loveliness of the pretty brownish wood dusted with yellow sun shine; the susurration of the zephyr. We fall crazily in love with the exquisiteness of this experience.
After a couple of hours of daydreaming in the kingdom of clouds, we step down, and head over on a fairy tale-like route. The azure has taken on an even aureate tint. We walk through a tree-clad path that leads to the Eden of songbirds. Our naturalist, with a heart belonging to the jungle knows the hiding places of feathered-friends and takes us to a dream-like place alive with frolic of birds. Chitter- chatter… That’s the kind of music that makes us want to spread wings and fly. The colourful-winged pretties preen and flutter their feathers, hop on the ground blithely, and coo their way into our hearts. The magic of the charming picture they create is untransferrable to words. We head back to the village with birdsongs replaying in our soul, to a rural lunch that could truly be called a ‘pastoral poem’. Tuck into the rice served with cooked garden-fresh veggies and finish off with a cup of silky curd sweetened with treacle. Just like that, we are transported into a rustic storybook.
As the curtain falls on the daylight witchcraft starts going on in the star-time fairyland of Saraii. The Southern winds and warm violet stars set the mood for romance. We light a bonfire somewhere in the magical land and stargaze while the moonlight washes the night world. Then we snuggle down in cozy cushions set on the ground and wine and dine while a quaint-looking lantern glows on the table. Let’s get going with the light-hearted jokes, witty anecdotes, and sing-alongs. Hours later, the night is still young, so we gaze up the blue yonder from the deck of our tree house to a drawing flowered with even more stars. Even glamorous Venus has shown up and the party is really going! Slowly, we drift away to slumberland amid subtle woodland fragrances floated up there on the night wind.
Saraii looks like a miniature wonderland in the soft morning light. We are biking though a reddish brown road. Along the rustic path, paddy fields sleep in a pool of sunshine, their lightgreen brimmed in marigold. Miles of nothing but emerald screens pinned with little blossoms, and I begin to feel that the silver gate to the fairyland must be somewhere here. Intoxicated by the enchantment of the village scene, we wander into the soul of the wild, drinking the morn’s loveliness in. After an hour, the morning is in wondrous flame and we stop by the roadside for some sweet King coconut. Then we head over to a rustic lake that lies in stillness and peace, darkly translucent in shadows of wild trees. Cool off in the clear waters and we learn what real gladness is.
The village sleeps in tranquillity in the dying evening light. The world is alluring at this moment when the yellow afternoon slips into a purple twilight. We are heading to busy ourselves with a little adventure at a rural home. The little house sits cheerily in the wavering shadows of tall paradise trees. A bustling lady comes to the wooden fence and welcomes us. She is the smiliest person I’ve ever seen, with a smile coming straight from her heart. We marvel at the aroma as she together with her soft-spoken husband, boil the milk in large caldrons and shows us the magical process of curd-making. Later on, we wind down with a cup of melt-in-your-mouth curd with sweet treacle and enjoy the sundown.
Saraii has been surreal in a thousand ways. It’s the closest to Eden I’ve ever been…