Wednesday, December 31, 2014
On this New Years Eve day, I find myself, almost 7 months since my departure from the United States, still here on this magical island in Nicaragua. Sipping coffee on the patio outside of my little casita, and feeling astounded and grateful for the many moments and events that have made my 2014. This morning, instead of trying to reflect and recap the mountains of change this past year has provided, I'll simply offer a look into where I find myself today...
It's a somewhat gray, windy morning. I'm alone here on the property, one neighbor on Christmas vacation, and another staying in the warmth of family at her mothers' house. It is so very quiet, just me and the horses chomping and the roosters crowing. Well, and lets not forget the 3 kittens running like madmen around my ankles...one thing I can say for certain is that this year has made me a cat lady.
The pulse of the village is always beating. Kids playing baseball with sticks and rocks, moving aside for motorcycles and herds of cows. Men going to and from the campo, dirt covering their hands and faces and blue plastic backpacks full of pesticides on their backs, full or empty depending the time of day. Some are on horseback, and more have surely walked for a very long time in the blazing sun.
Women mill about outside of their homes of 1, 2 or 3 rooms with rusted tin roofs. They wash by hand, hunched over a pila, then cook huddled over a fire of lenya. On a special day like today, perhaps the fruit of their labor will be something special like tamales, or maybe the usual gallo pinto or plantains prepared in one of ten different ways. Naked children run around them as they work, and dust swirls in plumes around them all.
I don't know that I'll ever really feel a part of it all, and maybe that's okay. I feel more and more comfortable approaching those open doors, sitting on the old rickety plastic chairs, and chit-chatting about the weather and how thank-god-we-have-our-health. I receive constant lessons of gratitude, and daily reminders of simplicity.
And with these lessons and reminders in my mind and heart, I leave one year behind and move into another. Some questions have been answered but even more formed. This is life...the dust and the work and the smiles and the questions...the spectrum from sadness to happiness and every sentiment in between.
But as the chit-chat teaches, thank-god-for-our-health, this is all we really know for sure.