Posted by: marisundays | February 25, 2018

The transient nature of life

Dear Friends,

I woke up to an inspiring Sunday morning. The air is cool; the tiles on the
terrace brilliant and warm in the sunshine. It’s a good day to make wonderful
memories that we can revisit often in solitude. Get out early today just in
case another strong rainfall surprises us like it did yesterday! I will take my
own advice soon.

Every dry season in Atenas finds me observing the different shades of brown
grass on our lawn. The constant (and often strong) winds generate plenty of
leaves for our gardener (and rake) to tidy up. The hours consumed by that task
are numerous and require patience. When I come back to a recently-manicured
section of the lawn at our home, I feel gratitude and appreciation for his work.

I went to San José yesterday afternoon. The difference in temperature between
Atenas and San José is very noticeable for me. I enjoy observing the contrast of
of flowers and trees that bloom in this season in both places. Hydrangeas grow
large and colorful in San José, they seem to prefer the cooler air. On my drive, I
appreciate the singular beauty of nature’s hues against the trees’ naked branches.

corteza from bing.com
Cortez amarillo blossom

Some time ago, a group of volunteers planted trees along some roads in Atenas
during the first days of that year’s rainy season. It was an ambitious project that
required the trees to be watered manually the first couple of dry seasons. Some
of the trees did not survive; the ones that did are currently blooming and giving
us an opportunity to stop and look at the flowers. Their short-lived existence is
a reminder of the transient nature of life, something we should be mindful of.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

image Bing.com free to use

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Posted by: marisundays | February 18, 2018

The Power of Words

Dear Friends,

I awoke to the familiar sounds of my neighborhood on Sunday mornings.
My first cup of coffee, accompanied by a hearty breakfast, was restorative.
Breathe in, stretch and take in all that life offers you today. Do it leisurely;
remember to live the day fully, appreciating your ability to do so.

It feels wonderful to be enjoying my surroundings while reflecting on the
days spent in Granada, Nicaragua during their Poetry Festival. The cele-
bration included more than listening to poetry; it was an opportunity to see
expositions, listen to music and participate in round tables that discussed
themes related to poetry, literature, musical and performance arts.

My fascination with words and their exact meanings began when I was a
child. I am grateful to have grown up in a home where books were present
and reading was encouraged. I am the product of two different cultures. My
extended contact with two languages from a young age has allowed me to
absorb and infer the colors, flavors and nuances of the vocabulary in each.
I am now beginning to navigate the deep, complex world of poetry.

I believe in the power of words to unite or divide people. Today’s technology
allows us to access many platforms and vent our frustrations while remaining
anonymous, not always a good thing. Words, written or spoken, can make a
big difference in a person’s day. In these days of turmoil in our world, it is
more vital than ever before to acknowledge the power of words and to learn
to use them appropriately.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | February 11, 2018

International Poetry Festival Granada Nicaragua

Dear Friends,

Welcome to another Sunday morning. I am greeted by different sights and
and sounds this morning as I wake up in Granada, Nicaragua where I arrived
a few days ago after a very short flight from Costa Rica. Although I am not
in Atenas, I still intend to get out to enjoy and appreciate the different beauty
my eyes take in in this magnficent Colonial city. Get out early too and make
the most of the gift of this day.

Granada, colorful and charming, has been the host city for an International Poetry
Festival since 2005. This year´s edition begins today. I am eager to take part in
the festivities. During our leisurely walk yesterday evening, my companions and I
witnessed the transformation of the streets into the setting that will be home to
poets, spectators, residents and tourists for the next few days.

This city´s historical background and inspiring architecture, its spacious streets
and plazas, is the perfect backdrop for a festival which attempts to rescue and
strengthen national traditions. As I watched traditional dancing yesterday after-
noon, I became nostalgic when thinking about how much of our own culture has
disappeared in Costa Rica.

I admire the leaders of cultural groups who continue to volunteer their time and
talents to younger generations. It is wonderful to see the smiling faces of the
youngsters as they perform on stage or watch from the audience. It is clear that
they are proud of their culture and it is motivating to experience the welcoming
cordiality of people we pass by. I regret I can´t stay longer this time, but I know
that I will visit Nicaragua again in the future.

Sundays are special for me. My ritual of enjoying a leisurely breakfast while looking
back over the week is one of my favorite activities. This morning I find myself in a
different country but one where I can still enjoy the delicious tranquility that I have
come to appreciate as a great contributor to my mental health. I hope you take time
out to also enjoy a few hours of quiet reflection before you begin your week.

Have a wonderful day and a great week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | February 4, 2018

May Costa Rica Win!

Dear Friends,

A cool Sunday for rest, renewal and relaxation greets us all this morning. I see
a large gulp of tiny swallows swooping energetically outside my windows. Their
carefree gliding encourages me to get out early today to enjoy the fresh air and
beauty Nature provides on a daily basis. I urge you also to take in all this good-
ness before the day gets away.

For the last several months, Costa Rican citizens have been subject to heavy
political campaigning from 13 aspiring candidates to the Presidency. People
running for one of the 57 legislative seats have been equally forceful in their
advertisements. The last few days have been quiet (as required by law); we are
given a welcome rest so that we can reflect and make an informed decision.

As we head to the polls today, many of us are still undecided. Apathy and fear
have been competing in our minds and hearts as we come face to face with the
undeniable reality of corruption and self-interest in our elected officials. All of
us are angry with false and broken promises that threaten our long-standing
democracy and keep us from moving forward. More people than ever before
are expressing their intention to not vote today, something I find hard to accept.

While I understand and share the general disappointment with the candidates
and their proposals, I refuse to give up my right to vote today. I believe I have
an obligation to cast my ballot because I know that to be a full participant in
the affairs of my community and country, I have to take a stand. Voting is one
aspect of civics that is totally under our control. It behooves us to show love
for our country today by making the most responsible selection we can given
the choices. Do it early, polls close at 6 p.m. May Costa Rica win!

Have a wonderful day and a stupendous week, Marietta

bing.com free to use image

Posted by: marisundays | January 28, 2018

A Perfect Sunday!

Good Morning Friends,

When I stepped onto the terrace this morning, mentally preparing for the
events of the day, I was conscious of the stillness in the air. The fallen
leaves strewn on the lawn are physical, visible reminders of yesterday’s
strong breezes that I hope will not repeat their appearance yet. Get out
early today and enjoy oneness with Nature before the day gets away.

I am grateful today for the richness of all aspects of my life. The serious
undertaking of being on the Board of Directors of the Hogar de Ancianos
has enhanced my existence in ways I never expected. I have had the honor
of congregating regularly with people from all walks of life who seek ways
to improve the services offered to this vulnerable population.

We had our semi-annual assembly yesterday afternoon. The presentation of
a short video highlighting some the year’s activities with and for our Seniors
was a reminder of how important it is to connect them to the community. It is
very rewarding to see how many young people choose to volunteer some of
their time at our institution because the contact benefits both sides greatly.

The members in attendance were also able to see that their ideas are taken in-
to account and made a reality when possible, such as improving the entrance
to make it more welcoming and purchasing two back-up generators which
keep everything running smoothly when the power goes out in Atenas. The
investment has granted peace of mind since we know our residents are safe.
We welcome input from the assembly and I am happy to serve on this team.

Have a perfect Sunday and a terrific week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | January 21, 2018

Daydreaming can be good!

Dear Friends,

I awakened to a warm and still Sunday morning in Atenas. When I stand
on our terrace, I am aware of the layers and layers of different sounds in
the “country”: the cicadas on a nearby tree; the sound of neighborhood
dogs greeting walkers-by; the live music from a surrounding church. My
eyes spot a large iguana making its way across our lawn. I breathe in and
stretch my body in gratitude for everything in my world this morning.

We have already lived 3 weeks in 2018. My prediction is that 2018 will
go as quickly for me as 2017 did. Time has a way of escaping, especially
in these modern times of so many distractions entertaining us away from
the goals that we have set for ourselves. Every so often, I scold myself
for not getting more done in a day, then I remind myself that being hard
on me by having unrealistic expectations serves no one!

I asked my daughter years ago who she would be if she had enough time,
money and the support of her family and the universe. She stared at me
for a long minute and told me she had no answer for that question…yet. I
ask myself the same question often but then don’t spend enough time on
listening for the answer as some distraction or interruption forces me to
change my focus.

My priorities for my journey through life have changed as I accept that
time is finite and that a solid sense of direction is a must if I want to leave
a concrete legacy for my descendants. I am nostalgic for the carefree days
of childhood when daydreaming was not a waste of time but a worthwhile
endeavor that sparked my creativity and gave glimpses to life’s complexity.

French philosopher Gabriel Marcel’s quote about life being a mystery to be
lived rather than a problem to be solved was a phrase my mother referred to
when situations beyond her control presented themselves in her life. I am
glad I heard her say it often because it became a saying for me as well. My
regret is that I never asked her where she first heard it and I can only guess
that the answer lies in the many books in my parents’ libraries.

Have a wonderful, daydreamy Sunday and a terrific week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | January 14, 2018

The Pura Vida Climate!

Dear Friends,

A very chilly, hazy, renewal Sunday greeted me today in San José. The
whistling wind rushing past the windows made me want to remain under
the covers but I bravely began my day, grateful that even though I was
not in Atenas, my Dad was brewing a pot of Atenas coffee. The aroma
wafted through the air as I began my Sunday routine. Get out early today
before the second Sunday of 2018 gets away from you.

The last couple of weeks have gone very quickly, almost in a surreal way,
as we navigate the reality that is ours after my Mom’s passing. Since I
don’t have my car here, my Dad and I have been doing most of our errands
by taxi. I have walked even more in the last several days than I do when I
am in New York, and I walk around there quite a bit. The experience has
been very interesting on many different fronts.

Atenas mornings are almost always very sunny. The mountains surround
me and I pinch myself often as a reminder to be thankful for the life I am
living. San Francisco dos Rios’ (San José) skies are not always clear but
from the second floor windows of my parents’ home, I can appreciate the
ring of mountains in the distance and the view of the twinkling lights at
night is frankly spectacular. I recall how my mother loved the view!

I am never more aware of our country’s micro climates than when I make
the drive back and forth from San José to Atenas. The overall climate of
Costa Rica is “mild”, but we have lately been exposed to drastic seasonal
changes that have me carrying an umbrella and wearing a sweater in what
ought to be our “summer”. It is very uplifting, however, that no matter
where I find myself in this nation, a greeting is always offered and replied
to. The climate of Pura Vida never changes!

Have a great day and a wonderful week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | January 7, 2018

Honoring my Mom

Dear Friends,

It is a cold and grey morning here in San José where I have spent the week.
While the whole country is experiencing this cold front, it seems to me that
San José has been hit much harder than other places. I won’t suggest you get
out today and move around unless you need to, but it is always a good idea
to take a deep breath and feel gratitude for everything in your life.

On January 1, 2018 I said goodbye to my mother’s physical form. Although
my heart is broken, I rejoice knowing that she has been released from pain
and suffering and is in a better place while watching over us. I would like to
honor my mother by sharing with you my tribute to her at her funeral last
Wednesday.

“What can be said about my mother would fill at least one book that I hope
to write someday. To summarize in the simplest manner, we can say that she
was a woman who would not be satisfied with passing through this world
unnoticed. She left a mark on every project and on every person she knew.
The oldest of ten siblings, she proved that dreaming, having goals and
achieving them was not impossible. She left us a legacy worth following.

On behalf of my father, my sisters, my brother and myself, our appreciation
for the support her faithful caregivers: Ana Brenes, Luz Mora and Gaby
Campos have provided. To our father, our admiration for showing us what
true love is with his devotion to her, especially in the last 6 years. I ask you
for applause for him and I ask God to lend him to us for many more years
to come.”

I feel blessed beyond measure because I carry my parents’ genes, their
strength and their resilience. My mother’s generous spirit touched the
lives of many including you, who I now thank for being on this journey
with me for the last few years. Rest in peace Mom.

Stay warm today; I’ll see you here next week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | December 31, 2017

Welcoming 2018!

Dear Friends,

On this beautiful, still, sunny Sunday morning, I invite you to welcome a day
that will hopefully unfold in a relaxing and meaningful way. Get outside early
in an attitude of gratitude, combining gentle movement with an awareness of
all the goodness that surrounds you. Being truly present for just a few minutes
every morning, can make a notable impact on how each day plays out.

This is the last Sunday of 2017. As I move into the energy of 2018, I am
filled with appreciation for all of you who have been spending a year of
Sundays with me in the past. I like to go back and re-read your feedback.
It is especially encouraging when you take time from your own busy days
to share the comings and goings of your life and articulate your intentions
for the year ahead.

The last couple of weeks have found me busy and happy with visits from
family and friends. Instead of exhausting me, these visits replenish my spirit
and fuel my need to bond and connect with people who motivate me to grow
into the best version of myself. I am enthusiastic to plan the months ahead,
even though I accept that a certain amount of flexibility is always required.

Life is full of mysteries. 2017 held many positive experiences for me and I
am at peace with the personal goals that I have been able to meet or surpass.
I have written down (in pencil!) the three priorities for 2018 which I feel are
within my reach. It is a big difference from other years where I have dozens
of “priorities” and lose focus early on. Let’s welcome the New Year with the
expectation that we will attain the things we work for and deserve.

Have a wonderful celebration tonight and a great week, Marietta

Posted by: marisundays | December 24, 2017

A Christmas Eve Greeting!

Dear Friends,

As I feel the breeze caress my cheeks on this glorious Sunday morning, I am
filled with gratitude for each one of you. Knowing that you are receiving my
emails each week encourages me to look for positive events during the week
so I can keep my promise to bring you good tidings on Sundays. Get out
early today to enjoy the crisp air that infuses our neighborhood with energy!

The past several weeks have been full of wonderful happenings in our small
town. We have witnessed the generosity and hard work that made it possible
to provide gifts and a party for over 350 “angels” who would otherwise not
be able to celebrate the season. The Municipality put on a marvelous parade
that was well-attended and brought lovely floats and many surprises. There
have been concerts and a Christmas fair in the park that made shopping easy.

There is optimism in the air, an intangible yet present feeling of promise, as
we await the 2018 that is just around the corner. Although most of us are busy
with seasonal activities that center around decorations, traditional meals, travel
and reunions with family and friends, it’s important to make time to reflect on
the real spirit of the holidays. I am enjoying being part of the community that
gathers together once a year to acknowledge our importance to each other all
year long.

Last week I noticed many new visitors making their way around our small
town. Yesterday La Coope (celebrating its 6th year in the “new” location) was
full to overflowing with regular shoppers and visiting tourists who were also
enjoying their afternoon coffee in the outdoor cafeteria. As I passed by, I was
greeted by many people I have met over the 15 years of living here. I am
proud to be a part of this town; a town that has kept its tradition of hospitality
and solidarity despite the constant changes and challenges it faces.

Whatever tradition you observe, my best wishes for a joyful celebration and
a wonderful, peaceful week.

Marietta

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