If we were living in the UK I’m sure we’d be taking the kids to the park, but as we’re in Bali we take them to the Monkey Forest.
Yet another reason why Maya and Kiran are so lucky to be growing up here – nature is not something separate from our everyday lives that needs to be sought out on weekends and school holidays. It is all around us in the rivers and the palm trees and the orchids and the snakes and the monkeys.
It’s strange to watch the monkeys and see how almost human they are in their activities and their expressions. Fear, anger, curiosity, contentment is plain in their faces as they go about their day ignoring the humans that pass through their little world. Siblings fight over food, youngsters whoop and chase each other through the trees, babies cling to their mamas. There was a lot of ooh-ing and finger pointing from Kiran towards the baby monkeys and I think maybe he was trying to say “Look! My mama carries me too!”
Bali is also an island of artists which is clear everywhere you look from the intricately carved temples to the colourful daily offerings that are placed on the ground daily. Monkey Forest itself is filled with stone carvings of monkeys and mythical creatures with grotesque expressions. Balinese children are taught from an early age to express themselves through art, music and dance. As a creative person myself, my parents always encouraged me to follow my passions but growing up in the west, the pressure to follow the crowd in terms of education, career and life in general is undeniable. It wasn’t until I left the UK that I finally felt free to live life as I please. I hope Kiran and Maya can grow up with the freedom of never having their creative spirits crushed whether they want to be a dancer, an artisan stone carver or just go and live in the jungle with the monkeys.
I wear Kiran in a Sakura Bloom Essential Silk Sling in Aubergine/Fig
This post is part 4 of a 6 part series for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. We are one of 15 families documenting our babywearing experience over a six month period. You can follow the Sling Diaries on Pinterest, Facebook or Tumblr. You can read all my other blog posts for the sling diaries here.