Each day we spent in the simple routine that included preparing three meals, bathing and playing in the ocean. At the same time, we came to know most Vigieños, Maritza’s network of family and lifelong friends, every time we made our way across the village. There wasn’t a single human being who Maritza didn’t know and stop to greet or catch up with. For me implicit in these moments was an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the time. What else did we have to do? A strange feeling. The only urgencies after all were to get to the beach before high tide and to get back in time to bathe and start cooking dinner before dark.
I learned to lie in a hammock, and to like it well enough to not want to get out. I learned from trying (hopelessly) to figure out whether the tide was coming in or out, watching the crabs running underfoot, and keeping an eye out for low-hanging coconuts (that might yield fresh and delicious coconut water), that in life, in general, I could work on being a little more observant.
The more you notice, the more you learn, the more you experience, the more you remember. Wherever you are. Slow it down – it’s possible. I’m working on it. Anyway, you’ll have to pardon the heavyhanded life lesson. Those are the sort of observations that come to mind when you have the luxury of distance and an exotic, foreign place to get introspective about your new year’s resolutions. Cheers, and happy new year.