The serenity of Sarawak

Sarawak; Inara Pey, August 2014, on FlickrSarawak (Flickr) – click any image for full size

I finally made it to Sarawak, the home region of outstanding SL photographer Ermandalee. I’d actually been intending to visit since around the end of July, but time and tide have been keeping me away; as did the fact that many of SL photographers and bloggers have visited; I scarcely feel any pictures I take do justice to the region compared to their work.

But, time smiled favourably upon me, and with an hour or so on my hands I jumped across for a visit, and I have to say I’m glad I did. Given Ermandalee’s eye for detail and expression, which can clearly been seen throughout her Flickr steam, it will come as no surprise that Sarawak is beautifully conceived and presented; the camera can scarcely be turned without a picture being framed.

Sarawak; Inara Pey, August 2014, on FlickrSarawak (Flickr)

Predominantly rural in nature, Sarawak presents what might be a coastal scene, a flat headland with mountains rearing beyond and cut through by water to form a small series of islands linked by bridges, both stone and wooden.  A house is built out over the waters of one of the inlets, a sign welcoming visitors to Ermandalee’s home, which doubles as a small gallery presenting some of her photographs. Just across the water are signs of a farm or small holding: a barn where horses can be found, bales of hay and the rounded form of a stone windmill. The soil here is obviously rich, as a scarecrow stands guard over a field of yellow flowers.

The pastoral feel to Sarawak continues through the wildlife to be found across the region. Ducks swim in some of the inlets or waddle on the shorelines, geese rise from one of the smaller islands, gulls circle overhead while deer roam the grasslands, birds sing against the backdrop of flowing water and the gentle ringing of chimes caught in the breeze.

Sarawak; Inara Pey, August 2014, on FlickrSarawak (Flickr)

But there is more here than a simple country scene; I understand that Ermandalee originally had it in mind to build something more towards the fantasy side of things. Eechoes of this can be found as one wanders the region, mixed with a touch of ancient mysticism.  A tall tower stands to one side of the region; close to a set of falls stands a statue and pavilion of distinctly elven look and feel, while on the shoreline sits a circle of mossy standing stones.

The combination of elements within Sarawak is enticing; inviting one to try to define where it the world it might reside. To me, parts of it suggest the great outdoors of Canada (or at least, how I imagine them to be): lakeshore cabins, rich forests, tall mountains. At the same time Sarawak speaks of being more European in nature, while the fjord-like channel to the north-east suggests something slightly Scandinavian.

Sarawak; Inara Pey, August 2014, on FlickrSarawak (Flickr)

However you see Sarawak, and whether you witness it in the default windlight setting, suggestive of a cool late summer evening (or perhaps early morning, depending on your mood), or whether you opt for one of your own (as I did), it is a beautiful place to visit and explore.  With its many offerings of places to sit, down on the ground and up in the trees, it offers an open invitation to visitors to stop and rest a while.

Given the serenity one feels when wandering through the region, it is an invitation easily accepted.

Sarawak; Inara Pey, August 2014, on FlickrSarawak (Flickr)

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