A full moon, who’s light illuminated every clouds’ outline as it sat shyly behind, seemed to wait for the right time to make its grand appearance. I was waiting too, as this would be the only weekend to bask in her light with my feet planted in Costa Rica’s rich soil while bathing in nature. After a week and some, I felt rooted to the earth, connected to nature in such a way that I had not before. Every color was more vivid, sounds more pronounced, and each touch was sweeter. Life was brilliant.
I sat in the back, as we twisted and turned around the winding roads leading us into a sort of civilization; more so than the ranch where we were coming from, but not at all like where I personally came from. City lights were nonexistent, humbly constructed teakwood cottages in place of skyscrapers, and space for trees to grow and buildings to breathe. I came back to the thought I am actually here.
It had taken finesse, effort, time, and thoughtful manifestation to make this figment of imagination an actual reality, so everyday, I had to remind myself that this was happening. That this was a kite string of an experience that had to be gripped over and over again with gentle hands and an open heart. I have been gaining awareness that this opportunity is temporary but that it could live with eternally rich remembrance. I had to strip myself from routine and drench myself with firsts that I could hold onto for a lifetime.
After we followed the van for what felt like some time, bumping up and down on pothole-filled dirt roads, we finally came to our stop. It looked like there was a fire smoldering, as steam rose to cloud around the tree’s tall canopies; with rainforests on both sides of the unpredictable road, the night laid over this space much darker than it did at the ranch. All 12 of us hopped out of the car; I looked down at myself and just giggled, strutting around in a black bikini with clunky, rubber rain boots ~ only in Costa Rica. PURA VIDA! One of the guys sweetly said, ‘well that is quite a sight.’
Being a bit disoriented without any knowledge of where our destination sat beyond the trees, I just followed the knowing leader, as we scurried across and down the road, dodging to make our way out of the cars’ path, as they honked with disapproval. Headlights and as my English mate called them ‘torches’ filled the ground beneath us with spots of radiance, stumbling to find our path through fallen trees, upraised stones, and muddied grounds from the rain earlier in the day. I was anticipative; it was an adventure off to a place I had never been, in a country who I had just met no more than a week ago.
The guys warned loudly about a tree filled with spikes. Spikes? Yeah, whatever. Until I made my way to the tree, I did not comprehend the true meaning. Yes, spikes, as long as my middle finger, unapologetically sticking straight out from the tree’s trunk. They helped us around properly, as we carried on to crawl through a rigged fence. It was cut and peeled back as an impromptu entrance, evidence of the many patrons that had come before. It was a full moon; we were meant to be bizarre. Ever so often, as we marched through the greenery, I craned my neck to look up in hopes of the beautiful, lovely Luna.
Once we started inching into the shallow water, I knew we were nearly to the river. I slipped my boots off in utter excitement for warm, bath-like water that seemed to be one of the only things I actually did miss. It is freezing. I was more than confused. I did not say a word; I just observed as everyone kept moving deeper as a herd like horses eager to bathe. One more stride and I stepped right into the heated heaven, provided by the dormit Volcano Arenal that last stood active just four years previous. The difference just one step can make in life. What a thought..
As I moved along, wading in the water to a liquid freedom, I felt my feet and toes making an imprint on the impressionable volcanic rock that lay underneath. It was a magical scene as we began lighting long-stemmed, white candles and setting them up just right, around the rocks. As their wax dripped, the contrast settled on the black rock. We had our own paradise. It seems quite seldom for an adult to experience pure pleasure apart from sex; while bathing, I felt an unmatchable closeness with myself that was rejuvenating and renewing. This moment marked a space in time solely for my healing.
While there was a hot pool, standing without movement, to the right cascading through the rocks was water falling with energies strong enough to heal. The noise of its strength echoed through the clearing forcing each of us to raise our voice. I gently moved from my stagnant position, rock by rock, until I was right in front of a flow. I took a couple of moments to shuffle around, finding stability and balance; I started to relax, leaning back.
Many times, when I scan the body, I find myself unknowingly holding tension, be it in the jaw or the hips. The chaos of this world just finds a way of manifesting its filthy self into the body. So just as I would ask my students in a session to use the breath to loosen up, I told myself you are as fluid as water. The water moved around me. I do not know how this feels although everyone has experienced it once in their life ~ I could imagine my body moving like a baby in her mother’s womb ready to emerge from safety to face the earth with renewing energy. I closed my eyes. For however long I laid there, lifelessly full of life, I heard not a word. Might it have been my ignorance or the possibility that everyone else too found sweet solitude in the form of silence ~ that, I do not know.
All I know is when I came back, my palms were up, my head was just above water, and the rest of me was out of focus under the rapid ripples occurring and reoccurring over again. Isn’t that life though? Striving to open yourself to sensations, people, opportunities, and love even when you yourself are just keeping your head above water. When we aren’t sure we are going to be able to stay afloat because we don’t see the intricate parts we THINK we need in order to progress. It is of faith and of focus that in these positions, we find the peace in a moving river of water that undoubtedly has the strength and tenacity to carry us away.
With sopping hair suctioned across my shoulders, down to the middle of my back, I slowly inched my way up, my torso pulling out of the water first. I felt like I was rising from the earth, or being born again as the fresh forest air hit my skin. No more than five minutes went by before laughter was the tune of the night. Joy and smiles filled faces, as sweet herb mixed with steam danced on the tip of my nose and camped on my lips ~ from complete silence to a melody of happiness from a chorus of unsuspecting collaborative musicians. As I looked up to the emerging light, as in one swift motion, the clouds broke hands so we could observe her beauty. This was magic. I softly reminded myself this is your life, love.