venturing out into the unknown
can be scary
it can be very fun as well
the choice is made inside your self
enjoy the present
it is all there is
and it is all yours
fragile and impermanent
in a constant state of change
life is fleeting
through the fluctuations
enjoy every single moment
every single breath
you are whole
one with everything and everyone around you
hundreds of thousands of romeros
costa rican pilgrims, from all walks of life
they take the streets to cartago, the old capital
once a year, the country comes to a halt
the masses walk as one
their strife ends on their knees, inside the basílica
face to face with ‘la negrita’
la virgen de los ángeles
they come with prayers
to give thanks
to ask for their loved ones
to meditate on how to become
the highest version of your self
when clouds start forming
know that a storm may come
darkness will envelop you
rain will fall
so go outside
face the rain and start dancing
high beyond the clouds
the sun is shining
up in the mountains at volcán irazú
tiny wildflowers and a soft carpet of grass become the edges of the road
a fence made of branches
gives monumental scale to the ancient tree
a silent, standing, patient witness to the curtains of mist
showering the earth below
a playful metaphor of the universe
an explosion set in motion
by a child’s flick of the wrist
each marble a planet, a star, a galaxy
in orbit with the baby blue chalk rings
upon the gray concrete space
the glass spheres collide with each other
sent forth in every direction
beautiful, random, spontaneous chaos
contrasting with the ordered, predesigned framework
by seeing and feeling opposite forces at play with each other
without chaos, could we understand order?
out at sea
thoughts process in different patterns
not the familiar, solid earth underneath your feet
deep waters meet the skies above
the horizon stretches out
beckoning your gaze beyond what the eye can hold when on land
you see far, yet you walk little
the contradicting situation grants you a moment
to sit still and contemplate the vastness
to remind oneself of the smallness of you
of the limitlessness of life
and the fact that you are part of it
thus, in fact, you are not small
you are endless
a wild pigeon contemplates the horizon at the top of a giant poró
this enormous, graceful tree paints the costa rican landscape with its vibrant colors
each bright brushstroke is a petal from a curvaceous flower that the tree so elegantly displays
nature gives us this beautiful masterpiece in a bright sunny day
a silent reminder of the miracle and endless wonder of life
i am grateful for sharing space with this creation
a memorable landmark in the heart of costa rica’s capital, the escuela buenaventura corrales is one of the few remaining jewels standing in the small city of san josé
designed and prefabricated in belgium, it was then shipped to limón, costa rica’s caribbean port, in 1892.
it has been restored and is boasting the splendor it once held over a century ago.
it is one of the lone bastions in the center of san josé that wants to kindle the hopes of many that dream that this city will one day be a safe, clean and beautiful cultural threshold to the boundless natural treasures that this small country is privileged to contain.
einstein said “imagination is everything. it is the preview of life’s coming attractions”.
what can a physicist teach us about the way we live our lives each and every day?
be mindful of what fills your mind.
whatever thought and feeling you generate is what you are creating for your life.
if you worry, then worrying is what you will get.
worries are only as real as you allow them to be.
so stop worrying, and you will see how quickly the feeling fades.
you will realize that worrying is a delusion.
in its place, a nice empty plot of land in your mind becomes available.
why not fill it up with something substantial?
why not love?
if you love, then love is what you will get.
go ahead, try it.
start with your self.
wake up early and watch how light fills up the world.
just like that, let light fill your self.
my grandfather tito
whenever i asked him “¿cómo estás?”
he would always reply the same way,
“empujando la carreta” (pushing the ox cart) he would say
a national symbol and icon of joy for all ticos,
a tradition that embodies so much of who we are
no two carretas are the same
always uniquely hand-painted according to the creativity of the artist
they are put in motion thanks to the efforts of a graceful animal
the wheels are a costa rican mandala
you can observe them forever
meditating on love and beauty
the carreta is a humble reminder of a life more connected with the natural world
head in the heavens, feet firmly rooted, deep below the earth
dancing, swaying, celebrating with the wind
sequestering what is superfluous
turning it into what we need
giving out all that is good
being a habitat for life to thrive
striving, reaching out for the sun
let us learn from these patient, noble, loving beings
i love talking to my parents
not just because they are my best friends
since they still live in costa rica, i get to hear about what is important in life back home
down there, the big news is not about the latest stock or gadget
the big news is that it hasn’t rained in two days during rainy season
the big news is that the avocado trees in the yard are giving so much that they’re giving them away and still there are too many
the simplicity and beauty of life is what i am reminded of when i talk to them
this view of the rising sun over the mountains was taken standing on the roof that my parents built for us to live and thrive in
i now am able to grow, standing on the foundations that they built
without their love, support and encouragement, these images and words would not be meeting your eyes today
the beach nomads
hermit crabs protect their vulnerable tails out of found objects in the sand
when they outgrow their mobile home, they get together and make a line by size
then, in an act of cooperation, they let go of their shell and take the bigger vacant one
dancing a conga line together to survive
we call them caricacos in costa rica
they love coconut and, like kids, will swarm to anything sweet
i saw a giant one the size of a bowling ball when i was a kid
i was so amazed by its size
i then understood that anything in this life is possible
just one of the beautiful inhabitants of our beaches
a mentor for all who are willing to learn
observe nature, endless answers will then unfold
the first rays of the sun caress the mountains and dance with the clouds
a new day begins
light comes in through our eyes, into our hearts and minds, warming our body and soul
igniting us to wake up and embrace the gift of a new day
no matter what came before, or what will come after
only what you have right now, within you
let it shine and light the world up with love
yesterday costa rica celebrated its independence
we are one of the smallest, yet happiest nations in the planet
we only cover 0.1% of the planet’s surface, yet hold a brilliant, beautiful and diverse 5% of the world’s biodiversity
25% of our country is revered and protected as national parks, most of the rest of it still looks like one
we are the only country in the world to not decrease or sustain, but increase our forest coverage, 100% in the last 20 years
95% of our energy is provided by our mother earth, from wind, hydroelectric and geothermal sources
we are the first nation to abolish its army, and public education is free and mandatory
our wealth is not measured in money, skyscrapers, or possessions
our wealth is measured in our ancient trees, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, beaches, frogs, butterflies, birds, dolphins, turtles, monkeys, whales, humans, the list goes on
our way of life is encapsulated on our most famous saying, ‘ pura vida ‘
so if you ever find yourself drawn to our nation, please visit it with respect for its people and places
support and visit the places that are ecologically mindful, and do not spend a cent on those huge hotels that are scarring the face of our coasts
we must send a message to everyone on this planet that it is being in relationship with nature what really matters in this life, not owning it and looking down on it to do as you please with it
support, play, celebrate and participate with our people, biologists, artists, campesinos and so many more that love our mother earth as much as they love love itself
paz, amor, alegría, pura vida costa rica!
don miguel comes around the house every now and then
a simple, humble, wise, quiet, beautiful old man
all his life, he told me, he has sharpened knives for everyone
people need sharp knives to carry out their daily tasks, he says
a dull knife is useless, i keep it sharp for them
he keeps my heart enlightened
red brushstrokes dance tickles on a little girl’s cheek
they come together to form a big heart
which is exactly what describes this moment
young or old, love breathes life into your soul
let it shine
dawn yielding to sun rising over península de osa
at its emptiest, the low tide reveals the rock lines at the bottom of the ocean
waking with the sunrise, the slombering waves begin to swell
young and old, birth and death.
the beautiful circle of life continues.
it seems, at times, as if these were our wisest moments, at the beginning and at the end.
but are beginnings and endings just illusions? is not life always in a state of perpetual continuity?
does anything ever really begin? or end?
of course it does, does it?
regardless, it is this ‘during’ in which we live most of our lives.
that space between birth and death is our life.
as the old saying goes,
“yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift. that is why they call it the present.”
so take this gift. use it, be it, live it, in gratitude and happiness of receiving it.
countless people all over the world celebrated gay pride this weekend.
it is a moment for all people, regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation to express their identity.
no one person is identical to anyone else.
in a crowded world full of unique beings, it is essential for all of us to recognize, respect and embrace our differences.
let us see past that which divides us and remember that we are all one.
kneeling at the edge where earth meets water, a child plays with sand and sea.
it is the simplest of things that can bring the greatest pleasures in life.
these times of quiet contemplation unconsciously bring you in communion with nature.
a silent dialogue ensues with the environment, the elements, the senses.
when someone faces you, you are in control of your reaction.
you can growl and gnash your teeth, or you can smile and wag your tail.
remember we are all part of one life.
each one of us has an impact, whether we want to make one or not.
knowing this, focus your every act on it being as positive and helpful to all as is possible.
we all play a part in this theater we are thrust upon.
own your part.
every single hortensia is unique.
from a distance, you see only fluffy pockets strung together like clouds in the sky, bright cotton candy amongst the greenery.
as you get closer, the subtle nuances in color and shape begin to weave a rich tapestry.
before long, a universe unfolds itself before your eyes.
these orbs hold more life than one would expect.
countless colorful insects and spiders make hortensias their home.
one of nature’s boundless, beautiful gifts.