Caña Fístula (Golden Rain)

Dear Friends;

It is a beautiful crisp and sunny Sunday morning where I am. I have already done my ‘movement’ by walking our dogs, watering the plants and sweeping the terrace (the wind does not care that it’s Sunday!). I am now sitting with my first cup of freshly brewed coffee (yes, naturally from Atenas!) writing to you and wishing all of you a beautiful, relaxing day spent doing something that brings you enjoyment and reminds you of the wonder of life itself.

On Friday afternoon, I dropped in unexpectedly (I didn’t have her phone number) on a woman who spends a lot of time doing volunteer work. When I arrived at her home, she was a welcoming and gracious hostess who did not begrudge my unannounced visit. She was putting the finishing touches on a trash can on which she had painted a lovely pastoral scene. It will be donated to the community of Rio Grande to support their efforts to encourage proper trash disposal by the residents and visitors to the plaza.

I spent a few minutes recapping some of my concerns about the county. She listened attentively as she continued to wipe the surfaces of the container. She asked me some personal questions, and was pensive and absorbed as I shared parts of my history. She remarked that her family had traditionally been community activists, that she is also concerned about the future of the county and is perplexed by the apathy when it comes to volunteering time or resources to viable community projects. She added that she feels we are each called on to get involved and busy in the community but not to the point of desperation and certainly not by sacrificing our own lives and families. This imbalance, she continued, is what leads to resentment and burnout and undermines the original intention of contributing to improvement.

Highway 27 is a 77- kilometer long ‘proper’ highway that has made a significant difference in our family’s life since its opening on January 27, 2010. Gone are the days of spending upwards of an hour to get into San José to visit my parents or take our daughter to her art classes. The access road to Highway 27 from our county, however, was severely damaged by the rain just five months after inauguration. It took many more months to determine whose responsibility it is to repair it. In the meantime, we have been forced to take the ‘old, winding road’ for a few kilometers to enter Highway 27 at an alternate point. I usually allow myself to become aggravated at having to add the extra minutes to my travel time whenever I need to go to San Jose. I guess I am still experiencing the serenity of Friday’s visit because yesterday I reveled in noticing the flowering caña fistulas (Golden Rain) on the road, something I would have missed if it had been possible for me to get right onto the highway from the access road. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that I need to become more aware of the beauty that surrounds me. How about you?

Have a wonderful day and an amazing week, Marietta

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