Morning has broken.

Light creeps through the cracks in the curtains as my awareness begins to return to a new day. Gradually I awaken from my deep sleep, which had been induced by the murmur of water gently tumbling over the rocks in the We Oya below.

The chirping, chattering, whistling and squeaking of birds as they call out, heralding a new day takes me sleepily from my bed and I wander out to the balcony where the cool morning air shakes me further into awareness of the dawning day.

From there the rising light reveals the canopy of the trees standing tall from the river below. Today the leaves are soft and bright, refreshed by the welcome light rain shower of the night.

Not one leaf is moving. The stillness is palpable and peaceful, broken only by tiny butterfly birds flitting and hopping from tree to tree, revelling in the freshness of the day.

A nimble squirrel feeds on the fruit of a branch a mere arms reach away. A call from her mate has her scurrying into more dense foliage out of sight.

Taking my camera I go down to the river hoping to catch some shots of the open beaked storks fishing. Today though, they fly overhead going further upstream. Instead I watch the fish darting from pool to pool. Some inquisitive ones investigate my submerged feet and I try to remain still as their mouths nip at my skin. Water walking insects skate on the skin of the gently flowing water.

Natural Pool, We OyaI watch the water, always on the move downstream. Here, it is merely rolling along until a partially submerged rock interrupts its flow. Then it crashes and swirls around and against huge boulders, creating thick white bubbles, before falling into another quiet stretch further downstream. It occurs to me that such a river flows like the thoughts that stream incessantly through my mind as I try to be still.

After a while my ears register the morning sound of a broom sweeping the leaves from the paths, signalling that the rest of the house is awake. I move to the river bank sending the fish off in all directions and make my way back up the steps to the house.

Another day at Olu Ella Inn, my Sri Lankan home away from home, has begun.

[While I believe my spot on the We Oya is unsurpassed, places on the Kelaniya River at Kitulgala are, though not enjoying the benefits of a remote location, very peaceful and have an amazing bird life.]