Authentic and magical rural experience!

Dear Friends,

This morning is representative of many August Sunday mornings
in Atenas for me. I am fascinated by the songs of several species of
birds that I have been observing for the past few years. I am trying to
commit their sounds to memory so I can talk about them with other
(more serious) bird watchers. Bird/Nature watching is an immersive
experience which helps to remind me of all the good in my world. Get
out early today and move in gratitude for all the good in your world!

This weekend marks the 151st anniversary of Atenas’ founding. The
celebrations planned are intended to highlight local talent and identity,
encouraging a sense of unity and purpose among the population. The
almost-finished band shell in the Central Park serves as the stage for the
many musical and theatrical activities that are scheduled. I took myself
there yesterday and I was delighted to see people of all ages enjoying a
nice Saturday afternoon. Children’s laughter accompanied typical music.

When we moved to this gorgeous mountain town in 2002, I spent a great
deal of time observing long-time residents interact with one another. I saw
and admired the warm, easy-going friendships that seemed so effortless.
Friends dropping in on each other unannounced was a typical occurrence,
not something that was considered rude or an unappreciated interruption.
As a newcomer, I was hesitant about establishing too liberal a visiting policy
but people are savvy and we have fortuitously instituted a perfect balance.

I recently met a local coffee grower when he dropped in at the art studio of
a friend of mine while I was there. He had a small supply of coffee with him
and I bought some to taste since I enjoy trying out different local brands. A few
weeks ago, in preparation of my upcoming trip to NY, I ordered several kilos of
coffee beans from him when we ran into each other on the street. We did not
exchange money or other details but I sensed the deal was sealed. I became
anxious Friday when thinking that I needed to pack and have no coffee or any
way to get in touch with him or he with me!

My friend with the art studio is in the process of moving to San José. I know
how hectic moving is so I did not want to bother him about getting in contact
with the grower. While I was out doing my errands yesterday, I happened to
notice a pick-up truck piled high with my friend’s art objects turning a corner.
I made sure it was safe to get behind it and I flagged the driver down. To my
great surprise and delight, I was face to face with the coffee grower.

He said, “I have your coffee in my house.” I said, “I have the money in my bag.”
We happened to be right outside his house! The exchange was made in minutes
and his parting words to me were: “If you need any more, just drop by, someone
is always here. If I am not home, just ask for what you need and we’ll settle it
later!” The spontaneous “visit” left me feeling more attached to this rural magical
county and the authentic experiences we can still have by living here.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a terrific week, Marietta

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