by Anne Martin -- January 26th, 2016
El amanecer. Daybreak.
I love the way that the sun comes up and brushes great pink streaks across the sky.
The air is cool in the early morning, a rarity in Costa Rica.
The clouds have filled our sleeping area and draped the bunks in mist. As I fumble for my flip-flops, my skin feels fresh, as if it has been kissed by the sky in the night. The fog has softened the distant mountains. They are still, gazing at us like glorious stone giants and looming high above our little farm. I take a moment to peek at them through the slender branches of the trees growing up around our little home, and then I turn and step down the stairs.
I try to take my wakings slow.
Throwing chia seeds and mango into a bowl, I find myself padding quietly to the yoga deck. The small wooden platform overlooks La Cangreja, the local national park. She is beautiful…an endless world of trees filled with pumas and anteaters and monkeys. She reminds us constantly how beautiful it is to be wild.
The yoga deck is special because I can watch the sun’s entire journey there. I can trace the line of her celestial travel, visiting for brief moments of respite throughout the day.
But this is when and where the whole day begins—and it is my favorite–glorious and beautiful and rich in sound and color. As the day breaks I watch the valley below fill with golden light like some giant earthly bowl of honey. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such a wild love, but for the sky at this exact instant every day.
I sit and watch where I know the first ray of sun will appear. I eat my mango. I listen. More and more birds join into the morning chorus. A lizard darts across my toe.
It is here in the jungle—in these endless hills and valleys—that I begin to feel somehow a sense of place in the world. Watching the toucans and the lizards amidst the ants and spiders and monkeys clambering up the draping vines, I realize with a blinding clarity that I am but a infinitesimally small stitch in this awesome tropical tapestry. Here, around and beneath me and as far away as I can see—the earth hums. She is a living breathing carpet of green and blue.
More strongly than in any other place that I have been, I can find peace here, gazing in wonder at the world around me. The forest helps you to feel content and humbled.
I mull over my state of being: a piece in a complex and beautiful system, a cell within a worldly organism. I am separate, but far from impermeable. I am the millions of bacteria that make up my body, I am the food that I eat, and I am the air that I breathe. I share the same life energy, I made of the same molecules, I come from the same stardust as everything around me. Beneath it all we are but the same. I relish in that intimate connection of that. I relax in the perfect simplicity of it.
It is here, seated on the yoga deck on a cool misty morning, that I realize we are not just connected with one another as humans, but intertwined with the trees and the termites as well. With the macaws and the wild pigs. With the papaya trees and the lemongrass.
I wonder why we seem to have forgotten this. I wonder why we ever wanted to.
It is such a beautiful world….and it is a beautiful thing, this thing we call Life.