Many Celebrations!

Dear Friends,

It’s a hazy, somber morning. The air is calm. The birds are quietly roaming
the sky in small groups, not the usually noisy flocks that invade the heavens
most mornings. My heart is filled with gratitude as I gaze at the horizon. My
eyes select a section of the landscape so I can focus on layers of mountains
across the way that evoke intense emotion with their beauty. The greens and
yellows in the background contrast beautifully with the reds and purples of
the flowers on the trees in the foreground. Nature’s boldness always at work!

We are celebrating Costa Rica’s 199th Independence Day this weekend. Due
to pandemic restrictions, and in an effort to rejuvenate the tourism sector, the
holiday is being celebrated tomorrow. This year, the Independence torch’s path
can be followed virtually by visiting: https://antorchavirtual.mep.go.cr. It will
begin a little later this morning from Peñas Blancas to Cartago, a distance of
about 373 kilometers. The arrival in Cartago, Costa Rica’s first capital, will be
tomorrow evening. Even in these tumultuous times, our longstanding history
of peace continues and I will participate virtually in some of the celebrations.

Today is Grandparents day in the United States, a holiday made “official” in
1979 by Jimmy Carter. The idea was to honor, remember and visit elders to
recognize their contribution to enriching families. This year we are encouraged
to find other ways to celebrate our senior citizens maintaining social distance
from them for their safety. I know some of the residents of our local Hogar de
Ancianos have a hard time understanding why their loved ones are not visiting
and it is heartbreaking. We look forward to returning to a more normal life but
in the meantime, we are grateful for the technology that allows virtual visits.

And finally, since you have been part of my life for the last decade, I will share
that today is my 65th birthday! I had different ideas of how I would celebrate
such a momentous marker. Alas, life took me on a different route. I will be at
home, enjoying my day meditating what it means to have come this far. I am a
lucky person. I have excellent health and my mind is still working. I don’t have
an image of myself as “old” but I accept without grief that I am no longer young.
I am confident that I will still say “yes” to lots of future experiences and that I
will feel no guilt about saying “no”. That is one major benefit of aging!

Have a wonderful day and a safe and terrific week, Marietta

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