Freeing Some Time

Dear Friends,

Strong breezes challenge my efforts to keep counters and surfaces
free of dust this morning. I rush to secure the loose notes containing
the outline for today’s message, grateful for a change for the many
peculiar items on the table that right now can serve as paperweights.
Complementing the winds, the sun is shining magnificently and the
puffy white clouds bring a smile to my face. I observe the pronounced
trail in the dry, brown grass made by the persevering leaf cutter ants.
I cannot but admire the work of this relentless community.

My mind has been on New York this morning. My connection to that
state is intertwined with most major events of my life. Contemplative
indulgence brings back memories of connections rather than barriers
during the many years that I lived there. Despite its reputation for bias
towards impersonality, I experienced positive social associations that
belied that reputation, especially during times of sudden change from
the status quo. My favorite memories of New York include the many
efforts to create urban forests even though I often tripped on roots that
were escaping their rectangular sidewalk openings.

We are about to enter a new month. We are in the middle of our high
season in Costa Rica and although it is evident that we have many less
visitors, the ones we do have are clearly delighted to be enjoying our
peaceful country filled with panoramic views from just about anywhere.
Generally speaking, most people here have taken the virus seriously by
wearing (colorful, tropical-themed) masks, distancing and sanitizing their
hands often. This encourages visitors and helps families that depend on
tourism to meet their financial obligations.

For a few years I have implemented the habit of not scheduling regular
activities for two days in my week. My intention when I began was to
use the time on what I consider leisure activities like reading or meeting
someone for coffee in the afternoon. The pandemic turned the world up-
side down for in-person social events but modern technology allowed
us to continue to engage with those whose company we enjoy. In many
cases, friendships have been renewed or family bonds have strengthened.
I am grateful for the additional pockets of time at my disposal, and may
decide to free up an extra day when we return to normal, which we will.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a terrific week, Marietta

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