Don’t be fooled by all the sunny beach photos that adorn this blog. Whenever I have my camera with me, I take oodles of photos for blog stock. It’s a good thing I think ahead as it’s been raining here for the past month almost every day. As of late, when the sun shines here it’s like when I lived in VT and there would be a warm spell in February. It would be forty degrees and people would be walking around in t-shirts. Here, after days of rain, when the sun finally makes a praise worthy debut, all of Puerto Viejo comes outside. Streets swarm with food vendors, pedestrians, people on bikes and horses (for real), maybe even a random lackadaisical sloth might cross the road.
But I’m here to tell you about the rain. I woke up the other morning and flung open the screenless window hoping for sun. It wasn’t raining but the sky was gathering clouds like a gardener gathers flowers for her bouquet. I hadn’t been swimming in the ocean in what felt like ages on account of one stormy day after another. One memorable night I was abruptly woken up around midnight to a thunder and lightning show right over head. When I was a kid I used to lay awake at night and count the seconds in between booms of thunder and shocks of lightning to measure the distance of the storm from my warm cocoon of blankets. This storm was right above us. The thunder was as loud as if I was standing next to a speaker at a concert big enough to warrant using a jumbotron. It shook the house I was in, the bed I was in, I felt like it was shaking my thoughts even. If you could measure the intensity of a thunderstorm, this was off the charts.
This morning though, I decided to take a little saunter across the street as it wasn’t a torrent yet, but you could see on the horizon that it was on it’s way. I live in a hamlet called Playa Cocles and the playa here, this time of year, has a pretty nasty undertow. Swimming isn’t ideal unless the water is placid, which happens from time to time. I waded in to my knees and could feel the strength of the current pushing my legs one way and then another. Squatting down I managed to get my entire body wet but didn’t dare go out farther. The frothy, churning water a very clear indication that I need not proceed further.
The sky was a striped curtain of grey, a dramatic backdrop for the oceanic theater. The messy perfection of the pre-storm sky something I wanted to reach out and viscerally touch. A thin line of the darkest gray lay upon the horizon and then a lighter grey above that. One long winter white cloud nine months pregnant with rain hovered as the next layer. On top the clouds whispered out in droves, dispersing into lesser definitions of themselves. I stood in the shallow water that at times was powerful enough to crash all the way up to my sternum. It tugged at me physically and then on a whole other level, it tugged at my heart strings. Like an old lover, begging me to drown only in the turbulence it had to offer.
With each ebb and flow of waves, my feet sunk deeper into the sand. I was thinking about Nicaragua. I have to cross the border soon and I have been debating on leaving Costa Rica and introducing myself to a new country. Starting over again. However, it takes time to integrate yourself into a community anywhere you are and I wonder do I want to leave that? I’ve just begun to tap into a really great food-conscious community here. However, I know I won’t end up here long term so perhaps it’s just better to leave now. Life is in slight upheaval when you’re on the move, much like the sky I was admiring. But this is when we grow the most, this is when we prove to ourselves that we are capable.
After almost an hour of being slightly knocked around, my knees like drunken men swaying to and fro in the current, the rain started falling. I emerged from the water and looked down to see a feather in my path on the sand. Perhaps on this Latin American journey, it is once again, time to take flight.