It’s Sarong Time…
Not to be confused with another title I’ve been brewing, “It’s the wrong time.”
Indeed, July’s summer heat has hit and the rain has been scarce as hen’s teeth. While records are not being broken, this summer has proven to be one of those old-fashioned “Gee this is great but a little rain might be helpful” seasons with tinges of threats such as wildfires and possible water rationing. Being on a well, I ration myself when the toilet and dog’s bowls seem to be collecting a bit of iron.
But I digress. Sarong time is that particular heat that takes me back to the equator and living in temperatures that require simple clothing. Sarongs have become popular beach attire over the years and perhaps still have a place in Western fashion. In the Far East, they are the staple clothing. I found ship workers and becak drivers whose only garb was a faded piece of hand-dyed cloth. Most were sewn into a tube shape. With a quick twist of the wrist, this tube was a sleeping bag, a discrete knee-length apparel or a rolled loin-cloth.
Of all the textiles I brought back from Southeast Asia, one remaining Balinese sarong has survived years of washing, beaches, summer nights in exotic vistas. I pulled it from my kayaking dry bag tonight as the crickets sang below the window and the air barely stirred. It is rare for this side of my mountain to be so warm for so many hours. As I wrapped it around my waist and secured it with a simple twist, it sank softly around my thin hips and grazed the tops of my feet. Visions clouded my memory of Jeff wearing this treasure (he was the only man I ever met who could pull off clogs and a Balinese sarong) standing in the doorway of our little hut at Light House Park in Jamaica. I padded barefoot down the hall to retrieve the photo album where the photo was curling and yellowed.
In my search for the right album I came across one of he and I in Costa Rica with the girls. God they were so young! And we?! He and I were still intact. The orange sarong was there, cast upon the sand by yet another ocean.
A simple piece of cloth, 36 years of memories and miles. I am older and wiser. The sarong’s colors are more muted and it’s softer, more fragile. But when the atmosphere reaches a certain stage it is the perfect cloak of comfort. The only article of clothing necessary.