Taking the Time
by Anne Martin -- December 16th, 2015
“And what is a healthy state? From the perspective of the individual, it is a bodily experience, a perception of the world, and an attitude about being alive that is characterized by openness, attunement, wonder, and willingness in the here and now to say YES to life” – Chellis Glendinning
Even after months of living here, the beauty of Costa Rica still takes me by surprise and sweeps me off my feet. Literally.
I’ll walk up the hill from the farm after the day’s work and onto the little deck that the family has built overlooking La Cangreja National Park. I look out at the world and…sink to my knees.
I fold my feet beneath me slowly, and sit cross-legged. I breathe and breathe and breathe until my legs feel just as warm as the worn wood beneath me. I sit just to watch the world move.
Being there, watching the mist float in, is an experience like watching flower petals open, or a splash of redbird color fly through the trees at home. It’s captivating. Your senses sharpen. Your shoulders shift away from your ears, and relax. Your mind slows to still.
You can almost feel the forest’s energy vibrating. You can almost see it.
Birds swoop in and out of view. A toucan’s yellow beak catches your eye. An ant crawls across your toe.
The mist is brushing your face now. The fog has almost entirely engulfed the valley…
What is life really, but the series of events that you choose to pay attention to?
Living in the natural world reminds me why it’s so fantastic to be alive. It reminds what a miracle it is. It shocks and inspires me, and is about the only thing that I am willing to sit and wait for.
I crunch up gravel roads and trace the outlines of the trees that I pass along the way. I try to memorize them, try to examine their crooked limbs and lofty leaves and twisting, elaborate, constrictive vines. I go home and I write about it all.
What pieces of this earthly existence do you choose to notice? Which rivers you find yourself taking part in? What world does your mind create? What moves you?
The world is unfolding as it should, and you have a role to play in it. You always have a role to play. The question is…will you let life take you where you need to go?
That is what the forest seems to say, while I sit there watching her.
This is what the forest has always said to people, I think.
I get up and go home.
I’ve found peace.