Saturday, July 3, 2010

unexpected turns

We're going home.

We haven't given up on this crazy adventure, but it's taken an unexpected turn. A few things are calling us back, including a sick friend and the fact that this little Costa Rican town has grown even soggier and slower than seems possible. It feels like time to reconnect with the world. At least for a while.

The thought of leaving Costa Rica is bittersweet. It hasn't always been easy, that's for sure. It's been educational, surprising, beautiful, hideous, amazing, infuriating, exhausting, exhilarating – mostly all at the same time.

I'm actually really surprised at how bittersweet it is. If you had asked me three months ago, I would have given you a long list of rantings why I wanted to go home. Now? Not so much.

Why should I miss this place? Last night I tripped over a mouse on my way to the bathroom. Tonight I found a scorpion under the girls' princess step stool. Not exactly reasons to want to stay someplace.

But then there are the sunsets, the tide pools, the quiet, the rain, the booming thunderstorms, the slow pace, the little Montessori school, the monkeys, birds and butterflies in more colors and sizes than you ever imagined. Most of all, the girls are so happy here and we've been able to spend so much time with them. I could go on and on.

Those are all great reasons to want to stay, but they're not the only ones. They're not even the best.

In short, thanks to the scorpions, mosquitoes, mice, prehistoric bugs – flying and otherwise – snakes, lizards, washed-out bridges, power outages, closed roads, ancient stick shifts, super mold, big waves, mud, dust, unidentifiable foodstuffs, and cultural quirks (mine). You have tested my courage and strength. You have bested me at times, but you've made me a better person.

Don't get me wrong – if I had to choose between having a washer and dryer or just a washing machine and hoping the sun will dry the clothes before they get moldy – I'd pick a washer/dryer every time, thank you very much. Gentle cycle, if you please. Or how about a good beer on tap? A really good beer. And a great burger? All I can say is "Pass the fries. Get your own damn order"

But I'm going to miss it here. It will be good to be home, though. To be with family and friends, and do and see all the things we've missed.

We have a little more than a week left here. So take a big deep breath of fresh clean air, soak in the sun and drink in the rain. Remember the faces and most of all – remember that you never need as much as you think you do. Remember you're always stronger than you think you are – and there's beauty in everything, especially the things that scare you.

And always check under the princess stool.