Pura Vida: A Travelogue, part the second

15 March: The streams look for all the world like Tennessee streams, so familiar to me. But they are HOT! Heated underground by the same fire that melts the rock, that sends flumes of smoke into the air, that cloaks the mountain in lava. The steam rises against lush foliage and tropical blossom. Unseen speakers add a flute serenade to the trickle of water, the sound of birds.

I sink into the warm. I feel it stitching together something broken. I imagine scenes in movies where wounds are miraculously healed. And I know this magic is happening inside me. Somehow. The warm swims around me, while cool breezes blow over me. Blossoms nod in the breeze and birds sing. And I wonder if there is a limit to how much delight one person can handle. I feel perilously close to that threshold…

In the afternoon, we visit the volcano that heats our springs. We are “greeted” at the entrance by a Coati. Costa Rica’s answer to the raccoon. 🙂

Before the afternoon is over, we will encounter Maggie Jays, White faced Capuchin Monkeys, a Coral snake, a Ceibo tree large enough to drive a truck through, and rugged beauty that will slay us.

Most remarkable is the old lava flow. Out of this black, arid landscape grow delicate, voluptuous lilies. It is impossible to reconcile this in my mind. I breathe it in. I take photographs, trying to make it real. It is paradox. Beauty from ashes. This, I know. I have known it intimately. In my own life. I belong here. This field…of waste…of refuse…of inexplicable wonder. This…is…me.

The view from here is astonishing. Arenal volcano in one direction, and Lake Arenal in the other. I would stay here. Linger. In the in-between. There is much to know in this place.  A knowing that has little to do with words. And much to do with being overwhelmed. Undone. A knowing that grows inside. Gradually. A knowing stitched together of stones and lilies and breeze and vastness and exposure and being alone, but not alone. Of being…small….