Rollin’ in the Deep

I missed you guys!!!  But I’m back from my Costa Rica Coma, rested, relaxed and trying to figure out when I can get away next and to where. Marrakesh sounds perfect.

First, I have a drawing I was behind naming the winners on. It’s for a random grab bag of samples. Winners are:  Maureen, sunnlitt and Leslie.  To collect, click on the Contact Us over there on the left, send me your address with a brief note of what you’ve won so I can keep it straight. I will respond to that e-mail, so if you don’t get a response from me in a day or two, send again. Sometimes mail from the contact us winds up in my spam filter, and I never see it, but enough come through that I don’t go digging through them unless prompted.

When I left, I asked about smells of a place or time of year.  Costa Rica has that amazing mix of almost rot with this breezy freshness. The air is perfumed by alternating whiffs of decaying fish and crabs and fruit, with the occasional wafting of the most lush white floral.  When those go by, my nose perks up, and I start sniffing it down, hunting for where it is coming from, and I almost never find it. That’s better, it leaves mystery in life.

On top of the smells are the sounds.  The place we stay in the Osa Peninsula is Pan Dulce, and the house is right off the beach, so you get surf sounds pounding at you second by second, minute by minute, hour after hour, day after day, and it takes you into this really deep place of presence. The absence of internet, phone, tv helps, along with living in a rustic cabin with a star bat sleeping above the stairs.  Oh, you get used to it.  I’m not one for creepy crawlies, but for some reason, I feel like that’s their place, and I’m the intruder. I don’t even kill insects while there.  And then there’s the 5 a.m. howler monkey wake-up call, the afternoon macau scream-fest, as they fight over some beach almonds, then go soaring into the air like the most vivid, elegant pair of Bickersons in the world.  And in the rainy season, every night brings the rain and Tink frogs (that’s the sound they make, loud, almost like a sonar).  Rain comes sometimes as the sun goes down or waking you up in the  middle of the night or as the accompaniment to the howlers as you open your eyes in the morning.

Every time I’m there, as I get to the last day, I’m shocked it is almost over and sad, and all I can do is cheer myself with the thought of planning another visit.  The Osa Peninsula is always described as one of the most ecologically intense places on the planet. I haven’t been everywhere on the planet, but I wouldn’t argue with that statement.  Everything about it is alive and immediate and real.  It talks to a place inside me that has always known life is short –  make it worth breathing, the future is no place to make a home to live in, and everything you have lived was completely necessary.  A lot of cliches?  Well, yeah!  Life is made of up cliches and catch-phrases, but it makes them no less true.  Getting to a place where you are rolliin’ in the deep present is a place to breathe from, inhaling all the broad spectrum of scent life puts out there.

What gets you there? Do you get there?  Do you not care if you get there?  🙂  Oh, listen I had a rolfing session right after acupuncture this morning, I’m so squishy right now, it’s ridiculous, so these platitudes will be like mother’s milk for another 18 hours, then I’ll go back to giggling surlishness.

  • Cynthia says:

    Hi Patty, I lived in Bombay (before it was Mumbai, back in the late 80’s, early 90’s) for four years. It was my first time to live overseas…kind of like jumping off the high board! But I came to love it. I’ve never since been to a place that was so alive and every day brought a new adventure. You’re right, you have to be able to get past the dirt and poverty, which may sound hard hearted, but as you say, it’s all about acceptance.

    Costa Rica, as you describe it, sounds like a place I’d love to see. Thanks for the tips.

  • Cynthia says:

    Patty, You are so my kind of girl. The nature treks, bats, rolfing, acupuncture, yoga, trips to India…I’ve been there and loved it. So nice to hear someone else who loves and explores some of the same places and experiences I’ve had. When I lived in India, my (very few) visitors would say, “how do you live here?”, yet I remember you embraced it all. Now you make me want to explore Costa Rica! cheers!

    • Patty says:

      How long did you live there? It reallly is a place you have to sink into, India is, and just get over yourself and ideas of fastidiousness and how you think everyone should live up to your levels of sanitation or whatever.

      Costa Rica, the same, if you go to the remote parts. A lot of it is becoming pretty touristy, but not in the way that Cabo, Cancun, etc., is. It’s not full of trash or anything, just a different way of living that encompasses stray dogs roaming all over that live on your porch for a day or just sit out a thunderstorm, and you live for the occasional puma sighting report, even though you never manage to see one yourself. :)

      So go to the Osa or as far remote as you can get if you go. and the Costa rican people are so wonderfully kind.

  • mariekel says:

    Wow. If I believed in fate this would have been a minor miracle.

    “Everything about it is alive and immediate and real. It talks to a place inside me that has always known life is short – make it worth breathing, the future is no place to make a home to live in, and everything you have lived was completely necessary.”

    I needed to read those words. I saw your post right after reading a long note from a friend who told me and a handful of other people that, after 15 years of battling cancer absolutely ferociously, he has two-three months to live. He told us without bitterness, sadness or fear. I am constantly amazed by him and I cannot fathom not having him around to marvel at. I was feeling self-pity these last few days over relatively trivial things and now feel plain silly.

    So, deep breath, what makes me feel alive, present, connected? Watching my dog snuffling a plant, knowing the sensations she is breathing in are her entire world at that moment. Waterlilies. Blueberries on the bush. The aria Au Fond du Temple Saint from Les Pecheurs du Perle, when both male voices join…

    • Patty says:

      Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. Nothing takes away that deep sense of loss that you know is coming, but taking every second you have and enjoying all the people we love that are with us is the only way to cope with the unending loss that is life. xoxo

  • Tamara*J says:

    I know how you feel Patty.
    I am constantly rejuvenated by nature, being in my mossy forest every day in all kinds of weather has been healing for my mind and spirit and strengthening for my body as well.
    I miss it if I even skip a day and am always in awe by the overwhelming sense that I belong there and the feeling of God surrounding my soul.
    And of course all the smells are a wonderful sensation.

  • maggiecat says:

    Welcome back Patty – we missed you too! But it sounds as if you has a wonderful and necessary respite. Being anywhere surrounded by nature – the sea, the mountains, woods or fields – helps me feel more alive and connected to everything. And a trip outdoors is great for perspective, when those little things seems so large. Stay squishy!

  • Musette says:

    I haven’t had that in a long time – but it’s my own fault – weird that this comes just as I forced myself to just. be. still. last evening – at least for a few minutes. I was on the front porch, potting stuff (my favorite place to be) and suddenly my hummingbirds came back – you know that first time, when they scare the bejeezus out of you, sounding like the World’s Largest Bee…then everybody gets with the program and we’re all good….well, I decided that it was maybe time to just sit and watch. So I did. I sat there, for nearly an hour, just watching the sky roll through and the hummers coming and going…I could feel my bp dropping with each exhale.

    it was lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I think I’mo do it again!

    xo >-)

  • Rappleyea says:

    “Rollin’ in the deep” – I love that! Thank you. But funny you should ask… I got there this morning with an amazing meditation and vision. It puts everything else on the Earth plane into perspective. I only wish I had Rumi’s linguistic skills to better describe those experiences.

  • nozknoz says:

    It sounds so beautiful, Patty, and you sound so truly relaxed. Nature will do that. Getting out into the wild and exploring new trails is absolutely my favorite thing to do.