This weekend will go down as one of the best of my life. I was transported, temporarily, somewhere completely other where all things seemed possible. Where everything seemed in its right place.
I didn’t necessarily think I was a ‘Paradise Island’ sort of person.
I mean, come on – what do you even do on these white beaches with crystalline water? It’s nice for half a day but then surely it gets boring?
We visited an island called Lao Liang. South of the town of Trang, a long boat ride away from civilization and into the realms of something beyond what I though that this world could offer.
Tents were set up along the beach under the reach of vast cliff faces, adorned with vegetation and trees that looked as alien as the clarity of the water to me.
The combination of colors, steam rising and sun searching through the canopy made me feel dizzy with a new kind of wonder. It also literally made me sing the incredible theme tune to Jurassic Park.
We acclimatized and explored the tiny beach and ‘resort’ site.
Resort is a grossly exaggerated word for the accommodation available. Not because it wasn’t perfect. But because ‘resort’ conjures up an image of a saccharine sweet version of a vacation destination and that really doesn’t do Lao Liang justice.
There were lazy hammocks resting underneath the shade, a volleyball court waiting for us and a whole ocean of calm surrounding the island.
The weekend was so full I don’t really know where to begin to explain what happened.
Maybe most notably we took kayaks out and explored the many caves around the exterior of the island for half a day before being ‘rescued’ by a long boat because of storm coming in that didn’t ever arrive.
As we paddled the booming sound of water moved deeply below us and rock towered us making my heart beat faster as once again I became aware of the depths and mass that surrounded the little boat.
I tried and failed to climb up a rope ladder that was the start of one of the many rock climbing routes around the island (if this is your thing you should 100% come and climb on Lao Liang, we found the resort in an article about rock climbing)
I slept deeply and well because my body was in the rhythm of the sun rise and set. It was utterly refreshing.
I gazed at the stars, thought about the measures of eternity and the infinity of experiencing beauty in all its different forms.
I ate food that wasn’t usual to me, but was tasty and nourishing and made with care and love.
All of these experiences helped me to fully embrace the rightness of the moment in time that we got to spend in paradise and in some way I am also encouraged by the fact that 3 days of this type of isolated peace was enough for me.
Grateful for both the chance to pause and for the chance to then move forward again.
Any longer and I may have begun to notice discomfort or craved diversity or started to worry about insects or tsunamis or pirates…
Instead the 3 days remains perfect in my mind and I’m reminded of one of my favorite pieces of scripture that I’d love to share with you:
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
I hope you find this as encouraging as I do.
PS you should go to Lao Liang but don’t tell anyone else about it – Keep it secret…Keep it safe…