| Santa Elena Canopy Skywalk|
First Time in Costa Rica
Too, I've been mourning the loss of people I've long admired. Pete Seeger. Doris Lessing. Nelson Mandala. Dede, the last of the Mirabel sisters from the Dominican Republic. I wonder how shall we survive in this world without them as living models of conscience and right.
From here it's an easy slide into depression. All I need is a dose of the world news or the daily flood of email appeals to bury me. I lose heart. I lose hope. I stop writing.
Then, something happens. Three deer wander through our field. I catch sight of stars and a sliver of a crescent moon in the hard winter sky. Good news creeps in and surprises me. Spring comes. I open the door. I go back to the page full of wonder and gratitude.
In one of my writing groups, we wrote to the question: "When do I feel most alive?" I love this question -- it's my antidote to despair -- and I want to go deeply into what makes me feel "alive" and "whole" now, in this stage of my life.
So I start with the memory of walking the rainforest canopy in Santa Elena, Costa Rica, where howler monkeys called and hummingbirds darted through flowers at treetop level. The suspension bridge shifted and swayed with our movements, but I wasn't afraid. It rained a bit and stopped. The mist swirled to the top of the cloud forest and beyond. The air was rich with spicy smells, flower fragrances, and wet dirt. And, I was very much alive.