The composition of the rocks is arranged neatly, longitudinally following the contours of the hills, keeping each grain of soil awake, not drifting following the flow of rain to the estuary, a fairly flat plot with a bamboo fence, containing several freely moving cows. While the bunut tree (banyan) stood rooted, watching carefully all the efforts made in front of him.
Two figures are seen in the middle of the plot of land.
The two figures are Wayan Sarba and Ms Kunti, siblings from Br. Jurang Aya, Kutampi Village, Nusa Penida District, which was busy managing their fields that day.
The location of the land which is near the junction of the cliff towards Pulagan village, making their presence so clearly visible from the village road.
They are still dissolved by their activities, while underneath the wet sandy soil, keeping track of the rain that is present. Shallow holes have been made, lined up even though they are not straight. Cassava stems with a span of size are collected in a corner of the field. Wayan Sarba stepped in with a black bucket, took a piece of cassava stems and then spread them out, making sure that every hole he had made first got a share of one.
Nothing special, everything went normal, slowly and in no hurry. The streets were quiet, the terraces that stretched were deserted unlike the busy coastal streets with the hustle and bustle of tourist visits.
Several large trees stood towering, Ms Kunti walked slowly, inserting pieces of cassava stems into the hole by using a hand that contained wrinkles that kept all the efforts made to survive. The hole that was made first and then buried it with its feet, very simple, with the belief that the stem that has been planted will not swell or drift easily.
“Ne sik Yan, entungang sik (This is one, throw one for me)” Ms Kunti asked for a piece of cassava stem from Wayan Sarba after seeing that the stem left for the hole was not suitable for planting. Years of being involved as a farmer certainly provide its own knowledge to get to know the seeds to be planted.
Before the day of planting cassava, two figures of farmers who already have a wealth of experience on the island of Nusa Penida have planted corn and beans, corn seeds and beans that have been scattered before, can not break, penetrate the soil layer and show the presence of their lives. The seeds of the corn have been spread on the land from a few days ago, precisely in the paing anggara kasih kulantir (balinese calendar), a day that is determined based on the wuku calendar (falls every 6 months) which is still commonly used in Bali as a marker of time.
“Di paingne mare metajuk, yen dimanisne musuhang beburonan, yen di paingne mare rahayu (2 days after anggara kasih kulantir just start planting, if one day after anggara kasih kulantir will be used up by animals, if 2 days after it is successful” Wayan Sarba explained the selection of the day he believed to start planting his fields in the hope that the plants he planted were successful, provide livelihood. Bearing in mind that the anggara kasih kulantir fell on December 31, 2019.
How to grow crops with a pattern of reading good days like this is still widely believed, this is certainly not only a matter of mystical, but a matter of experience patterns from a series of efforts made, experienced, stored into a pattern of experience which is then passed down from generation to generation to minimize failure. The pattern is then remembered with the traditional calendar system, both wuku (once every 6 months) or the sasih calendar system (once a year).
As Wayan Sarbe later revealed, they usually start planting in the 6th or 12th sasih (AD, December), something that this year shifted, because in reality they were only able to plant in early January. The shift in the presence of rain that made their cropping patterns change. If the shifting rain changes the presence of rain can be a sign of climate change, so they naturally feel it. Not only does it feel in the form of worries about the future, but it is far in a more tangible form, changing cropping patterns.
The feeling of being honed with the choice to practice farming follows the pattern of the presence of rain. Maybe climate change that is happening and felt by Wayan Sarba, Ms Kunti, or other farmers in Nusa Penida or in other areas that depend on the presence of rain is not as big as Gutenberg’s worries and concern about climate change and the future, but in reality the climate change also felt and influenced cropping patterns and patterns of the use of Wayan Sarba’s living space, men and other residents whose use of their living space depended on careful reading and following the seasons.
Day is getting late, the sun appears setting, the sky is confused, uncertain. Occasionally a cloudy cloud crosses but then returns to white with a bright blue sky background, like the background of a 3×4 photo which is usually a condition of government procedural requirements.
A sentence crossed, a sentence uttered by Mr. DS, a figure who became a moderator in an intimate discussion that became a series of hamlet festivals in Senja Hamlet, Br. Moding, Kusuma Temple, Melaya, Jembrana.
“Farmers Are Brahmaning Brahmins” he said at the time.
With superficial interpretations, if the Brahmins are holy people who have the function of leading a series of prayers to the one, then the farmers with their behavior can then be seen or perhaps interpreted as exceeding or at least equivalent to Brahmins, certainly in the context of glory through life.
And if then life is a gift, then survival is a major ritual to worship life and the giver of life. The terraced landscape that dominates the Nusa hills is a large altar, a ritual building for the worship of life built by elders, the people of Nusa to celebrate the life given to them, celebrate in a simple way, survive by knowing nature, climate, and how then to build an infrastructure to be able to live on the island.
The terracing system that was successfully built using rock (which became the dominant texture of the island) as a foundation to anticipate the contours of rocky hills and create a series of terraced terraces, terraced fields that can then be used to hold the soil, keep the water flow from rain falling and potentially erode the soil the topsoil.
The series of terraces stretching almost throughout the hills of the island became a dominant giant worship altar on Nusa Penida Island. A giant altar which is a place for Wayan Sarba, Ms Mukti or Nusa Penida Island residents in general who still want to take care of the fields inherited from their ancestors, to perform a ritual celebration of the living space given by farming. The way that so far has in fact been able to create continuity for generations to be born. A simple ceremony, farming using the land that has been provided by the elders, ancestors, was held in a way that is no less simple when the rainy season arrives.
But of course this simple way met with concrete challenges, modern needs with all the consumption expenses that cannot be provided with simple altar-altar. The tourism industry with its lure certainly becomes a tempting temptation, and then chooses to maximize the tourism potential even though then it has to give up worship shrines for the life that has been passed on eventually dominated by shrubs.
I don’t know how many years and how many hours (if we now use hours as a measure of work productivity) needed to build this building, the building that has become the biggest worship altar I have met to this day, so it is quite reasonable if the image of the Nusa “Magic” attached to mainland people (Balinese) like me. Because in reality on the island of Nusa Penida an altar of worship for the most basic things (which must be worshiped and made us adore) called life can be made, an altar to learn, understand and then adapt to the environment and climate to then celebrate it by planting, then harvesting it later . An altar with a mystery of great knowledge, which makes when visiting Nusa Penida not only dissolve in the temptation of the self-portrait lure that can be exhibited on social media, but also try to learn how to survive from the environment and the climate that is present.