And Just Like That

And just like that, we’re going home. Back to Costa Rica where my spirit has been waiting for my body to rejoin it. If I tell you exactly how it happened, I’ll lose you along the way; there are lots of false starts and lots of networking with people you don’t know. Or maybe you do know them. I try to avoid throwing people’s names around on the internet unless unless I’m furious at them for the disappearance of somebody I know.

The road back to Costa Rica started maybe a year ago with my husband trying to make a call on skype and accidentally calling the wrong guy. That led us on a circuitous route to a sudden opportunity for which we ALMOST packed up and moved just after this past Christmas. But it fell through. We were so disappointed. For days, I could barely move. Then it happened again in January—BOOM. A bolt from the blue: a Facebook message from a friend asking if we’re interested in managing a small hotel in our old hometown. Of course we’re interested! And then, as suddenly as the possibility exploded into our lives, the air sputtered out of it like a balloon, and it clearly wasn’t going to happen. Then neither of us could move. We couldn’t even talk to each other—not because we were angry, but because there was nothing to say.

And I decided that this might be God or The Universe (or whoever sends us messages) doing just that—sending me a message. Telling me it’s time. Telling me to take this seriously. Telling me that maybe we’ve done what we need to do here, taken care of what needed attention, repaired what was broken. That you can’t always listen to your heart—sometimes you have to listen to your mind—but that maybe the light is turning green.

So I called the Immigration office in Costa Rica. I could have done that on any day of the last five years, but I was too afraid. My question was, “Can we renew our expired resident status?” and if they said no, I knew that I would have to carry my dreams out the door and drown them in the cold lake. But finally my need to know was greater than my fear of disappointment, so I dialed the number. In short, the answer is yes. A complicated yes, of course, but entirely possible.

Then I sent out two messages to long-time friends. I got two encouraging replies. One of the replies included the suggestion that I contact a third friend. The third friend, who I’d thought of contacting but talked myself out of “bothering” him, was actually actively looking for someone to do what I do and someone to do what Pio does. And the price was right.

And we are going home.

We’d been thinking about visiting Costa Rica on vacation in November of this year, and I was afraid it would destroy me. I was afraid I would do something insane like refuse to leave, or something worse like leave.

Costa Rica isn’t paradise. It’s a place on the map. There are problems and potholes, mosquitoes, mud, cockroaches, scorpions and thieves. Paychecks are small, stuff is expensive. But it is home. I wasn’t born there, but it chose me when I was twenty years old and I can’t help it. I would be happy here if I could. It would be easier, more comfortable and in some ways, safer.

We’ll be leaving Washington State on March 23, flying to Pennsylvania for a week, and then continuing on home to Costa Rica at the end of the month.

To transpose the words of The Good Lord into words of my own: “What does it profit a girl if she gains the world but her soul is so sad that it withers into a dry little nut inside her heart?”

elephant and machete
My preferred garden tool:  a machete

4 thoughts on “And Just Like That

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