As Irma bears down on Florida, I am more conscious than ever of the blessing
it is to live in Costa Rica, a tiny paradise about 10 degrees north of the equator,
below the path of most hurricanes. I am grateful and at the same time, very
concerned for my friends and family who live in areas that are affected. If you
live in a place where it is safe to do so, I invite you to go out in loving gratitude
and movement and enjoy the day before it gets away from you.
I returned home on Thursday. It was a long day filled with the travel-related
incidents that have become “normal” in recent times. Since I never know what
challenge will confront me when I travel these days, I try to maintain a sense of
humor and composure so that I can respond in a positive manner. Our aircraft
was full of passengers and Irma’s trajectory at that point had already caused
delays that forced us to wait for an hour before we were able to take off. Our
pilot was communicative and experienced; even so the spontaneous clapping
from all of us on landing confirmed the presence of our collective anxiety.
Spending the last few weeks in the company of diverse groups and contrasting
cultures has been eye-opening to me. I have learned a lot about myself. My
expectations of what constitutes acceptable behavior in some situations were
tested often during the cruise. I watched truly inattentive parents allow their
little ones to hog the hot tub, run up and down the halls, make noise everywhere
while depending on the crew to babysit as they had fun. I try not to be too harsh,
remembering that I was a perfect mother until I had my own kids!
One incident that stands out, however, was one morning when a small family
was having breakfast at a nearby table. The young daughter, about 12, loudly
complained to her parents that the buffet table was out of the only yogurt she
liked. Her dad calmly suggested she walk around to other buffet tables to see
if she had better luck. She scorned the idea as improbable but did follow his
advice and was successful and elated when she returned. A less mature father
might have gloated over his triumph, instead he just smiled and continued to eat.
Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta