In 2008, I felt very moved to getting out of the USA. My husband had passed away when I was pregnant with our only son and now he was 5 years old and we lived in a neat and clean family neighborhood in South Jersey... There was a city ordinance to have 6 foot fences, so all my little son saw out of our lovely backyard was wood planks. I went to visit the schools as he would be soon entering kindergarten ... I was shown the classrooms where he would be expected to sit for so many hours a day. Something did not feel quite right. I was working as a hospice social worker at the time and I recalled there were days I dropped him off as soon as they opened the day-care center, in fact, I would be in my car waiting for them to open, so I could go to work. And often I would be rushing home to pick him up at the very last minute before they closed. By the time we got home, quality time was nowhere to be found. I felt sick, phyisically, mentally and spiritually. There must be a better thing for us, I often thought. Also, I am from Mexico and after spending most of my life in the USA in places where we had to have our windows and doors closed for about half the year, inhaling recycled air, I also longed to see green all year round, and to eat the fresh fruit I ate when I was a child...right from the trees. I also began to feel very uncomfortable with the fact the vast majority of the country's budget was being spent of the military instead of education or medical systems... it was a combination of these and perhaps other factors that made me feel uncomfortable enough to take action. I knew I needed to get out, but I was not sure where to. I asked for Divine guidance, and I got it in the simplest and most direct of ways... I saw a sign on the street as I was driving home one Sunday, and decided to enter the Quaker meeting it advertised that was going on right at that time. My son was in the backseat. We walked in and participated in the quiet "service". It was more like the meditation I was already practicing. And at the end of the meeting a woman stood up and asked us all to "hold in the light/pray for her daughter who was on a turbulent flight from Costa Rica back to the US. There was an instant recognition. Costa Rica was THE place I was looking for, though I knew very little about this beautiful, peaceful country. My research showed my logical brain that my intuition was right. In a few short months I made arrangements to visit and we moved in August of 2008. It was the best decision I could have made. And as they say, the rest is history.
In 2010 I met my current partner and the man who became my son's father. At the time I was living in the famous ex-pat community of Monteverde. And though we don't belong to any organized religion, my son was attending the Quaker school there and I dedicated my time to him, and what was left to the street animals. When we met Alex, our worldview of what was needed widely expanded. Though I already had an inkling something was not quite right where I was, I was not exaclty sure what it was. The people were lovely to us, there were forests everywhere. What my intuition was telling me was that there was much more I could be doing for this country that so kindly took us in. Just a few kilometers down, though the weather was actually much better and nature just as beautiful, the socioeconomic conditions of the townspeople were vastly different. How could this be so? We found the answers when we moved to the nearby town of Guacimal, where we live now. The same story played here than everywhere in the world... those who had more took advantage of those who did not. But this town had something different. They were ready to give up their lives to prevent privatization of their prisitine river... and when they asked us for help, there was only one thing to do.
This is how we got fully engaged in keeping Costa Rica the beautiful paradise it still is. This is why the Sustainabilty Center was born and why we believe so much in the power of community... the power of the human connection and of the simple things. For me Costa Rica is the perfect place (and I am sure there are many others) to give birth to what I long for... a new humanity... a new way of doing things where our health and the health of the planet takes priority.
The Corona issue is telling us in no uncertain terms that the time has come for each of us to "sign up" to straighten the course of humanity... it is possible with everyone doing what we feel called to do in our little corner of the world
From the Sustainability Demonstration Center's Blog:
My partner called me out to come “see the stars”. We do have some amazing views of the stars so I put on my sandals and out I went to join him and our son. I had my little flashlight on, so I did not notice what I was walking into… Then they turned off their flashlights and asked me to turn off mine… We were in a sea of lightning bugs that twinkled and appeared and disappeared as if the entire area had been decorated with flashing beautiful Christmas lights. It was as if after the first rains, the very stars had come down from the heavens and turned to "earth stars" for us to take notice of the magic we live in every day; the miracles that our Mother Earth performs each day and displays right before our eyes... if we allow it and notice it. I was in awe and overjoyed.
And these days I wake up every morning to a gift of mangoes freshly fallen from our tree in the back gardens of our Sustainability Demonstration Center. As I walk to our worm-composting area with a bucket full of fruit skins, I see the avocados ripening and the monkeys swaying in the trees, and I stop to eat a juicy mango. Then I walk to the veggie garden and see the leaf-cutter ants have eaten some of my very precious moringa plants.
As I ponder what to do, the “earth stars” remind me to carefully evaluate what to do about these farmer ants… The lightning bugs are here because they are safe from pesticides. The mangoes I eat are also free from poisons, which is why the monkeys and we like them so much. So, I am moved to further research how to encourage the ants to relocate and eat something else out in the forest. When we move too fast, we are pressed for time, have more on our plates than we could ever do; there may be little energy left to evaluate the choices we make… but every little choice we make, has an effect on the Whole… we are all interconnected.
The Corona issue has allowed us more time for a great deal of reflection, appreciation, contemplation, contact with nature, and it is my hope that there is a transformation in my own consciousness, an evolution, towards a healthier and more joyous way of being. And as I am a part of the Whole, when I heal and do better, the entire planet will also do better. I would like to think there is something similar going on in a great number of people around the globe, and that when we come out on the other side, there won’t be “business as usual” because the “usual” was killing us all and our planet. But that we will do a different kind of business; the business of being joyous and healthy on all levels.