Five Thousand Steps
Travel Journals: Day 5: A Rainy Season in Costa Rica
Every other week during 2023 I will be posting an excerpt from my upcoming book, Five Thousand Steps: A Rainy Season in Costa Rica. It is a travelogue of sorts, my journals and observations from my initial three months in Costa Rica along the Guanacaste Coast. I hope you enjoy following the journey.
Travel Journals Day 5: A Rainy Season in Costa Rica
Last night I drifted off to sleep while reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It seems to be the perfect book to have tucked inside my backpack for my season along the coast of Costa Rica.
The story takes place in Cuba. I enjoyed getting lost in the passage about the old man preparing for bed. He was so poor and living so simply as a humble fisherman with only a tiny, one room shack with a dirt floor.
“The shack was made of the tough budshields of the royal palm which are called guano and in it there was a bed, a table, one chair, and a place on the dirt floor to cook with charcoal. On the brown walls of the flattened, overlapping leaves of the sturdy, fibered guano there was a picture of Jesus and another of the Virgin of Cobre. These were relics of his wife. Once there had been a tinted photograph of his wife on the wall but he had taken it down because it made him too lonely to see it and it was on the shelf in the corner under his clean shirt. The old man drank his coffee slowly. It was all he would have all day and he knew that he should take it.” -Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
The tiny shack I am living in is so much nicer….tile floor, running water, a shower with lukewarm water, an AC unit and a fridge, even a hammock out front. With a few books, wifi and the ocean just a walking path away, fresh fish on Tuesday and Thursday, local vegetables, who could want for anything more than this?
This is the simple life I have always imagined.
I fell asleep once again to the soft sound of rain. It was my first night not to sleep like a baby. I woke a number of times in the night. With my phone still nearby and the conditioned response from decades in the modern world to check in, my addiction has not been broken yet. I will break it. I am determined. Maybe I will take certain days with no access at all and check email only once or twice a week.
The following morning, the light was coming through the window pulled me out of my dream. The trees, flowers and unique birds of the area all began to arise. I wanted to be a part of it. I threw off the sheets, pulled on my trunks and headed out for the truest form of meditation, a four mile walk along the empty beach.
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What if I told you that everything you were always seeking has been within you all along.
From the Archives
Sometimes when your grand vision completely falls apart, you have the option to equally fall and crumble, or you can take a step back, remain calm, breath deeply and connect with a new vision….an even bigger and more inspiring outcome.
So that is what I have done…
Enjoy Destination Hong Kong from the archives.
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Zen and Ink Journals represents hundreds of hours of writing over the past decade, sometimes from a train in remote China or a coffee shop in Kyoto, a hammock in Costa Rica or a simple cabin on a mountaintop in Boquete, Panama or Ciudad Colón.
On these pages, I share my observations of kindness and beauty from my adventures in the world and invite you to listen quietly for the call within you to explore the places that beckon your soul.
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