The Woman on My Wall

(I figured I should probably post the picture before you all get creeped out by the title. ;))

My husband snapped a picture several years ago when we were living in Indonesia.

We were on our way to the beach. And we’re not talking a nice, smooth, hour or so drive to pristine sand and sea. Just clearing that up now. :)

Indo roads wind…and wind…and just when you think they can’t wind anymore, they do. Like, to the point where Mel’s very best friend during said excursion is a tiny little pink pill called Antimo, guaranteed (almost always) to keep the breakfast down.

But the up side is the fun, random stops you can make along the way. Friends who have experienced this kind of drive can completely attest to this…you just never know what you might see. :)

On this particular trip, we were traveling with a large group and had split by gender…the girls in one car, the guys in the other. We ladies had stopped at a roadside fruit stand for some manggis (mangosteen), one of my favorite fruits. (I would seriously choose this over chocolate on many days so you know it’s good!) The guys stopped at a gas station, and while Tobin was waiting for everyone else, he pulled out his camera.

I’m just going to interject into my scattered storytelling the fact that I am ever so grateful I married someone who actually thinks to take pictures. And takes them well. I don’t do either.

He saw a woman working in a nearby rice paddy and thought it was a cool shot.

So he snapped a picture.

She looked up, and he snapped another.

And then? She waved and smiled…which it typically atypical…and he got another. (Not that Indonesians aren’t kind…they’re just often shy with strangers.)

We arrived at the beach for a weekend of relaxing, sunshine, ocean-playing, and hanging with friends…and somewhere in those days, I’m sure he showed me the picture. Which I’m sure I liked. :)

But over the years, we’ve come to really love this picture, almost more each time we see it. It’s just beautiful. Gorgeous green color, beautiful smile from an (I’m sure) equally beautiful woman.

But after we returned to the States, this picture became even more of a favorite, to the point that we finally ordered a large canvas print to hang on our wall. (Which hubby hung yesterday.)

I love the tangible reminder we now have of Indonesia…one we can see every day.

But what I love even more about this picture is that it truly is a representation of this place that holds a piece of my heart forever. I think of beauty and kind people when I think of my Indo…those are the two biggest things I took away from what I now call my second home.

Tobin and I were talking yesterday about this woman…and how we don’t even know who she is. He insists he could find the gas station again, and by asking around, we could probably eventually locate her…it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever have that chance, but we do wonder.

Would she be embarrassed that she is now the focal point of our family room? :)

I hope not. I hope she’d be honored…because, to me, she represents the beauty of Indonesia.



  1. i truly love this dear mel. Having lived in another land that stole my heart I understand more then I can express. And even though I have not been there.. there r similiarities to those that stole my heart in nepal. I so love you mel!

  2. what a beautiful, tangible reminder of a time and place that you fell in love with and transformed you forever! love this!

  3. Great picture. I love that you guys ordered it on big canvass. :)

  4. I love it!! “someday” (after just reading today’s blog post–interject big cheesy grin) I will come see that canvas in person! Praying for you as you make this God-sized dream journey! Love ya sweet friend!

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