Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back In The U.S.A.

It's been two weeks since I've returned from nine weeks in Costa Rica. I've adapted to my culture shock of the U.S. and gotten the house in order, but I spend many visual moments revisiting Costa Rica. The tropical pace was such a delight. I've been slowing life down for many years but they've got it bred into their genes. It's a wonderful reminder that life is in the being and not in the doing.

So far I've not been able to pick up my speed and that I am glad about. I still have my "to do" list and I work through my tasks, but what wa still left of the "drivenness" within me prior to leaving for the trip, has not been there since I've returned. It's been a long-standing prayer request to take away the inner drive that leads to destruction.

Living in a body with a brain that remembers how I used to be has been a bit odd since I'm no longer functioning in the same manner as when I departed. I keep looking around every corner to see if the "old" Donna will return in full force. There's nothing wrong with goals, accomplishments, jobs well done and wanting to do many things in life. It's when they have a life of their own and take over that the problem occurs. It's when you find yourself not getting to do the things you'd really want to do. Not making the priorities come first. I used to feel like somebody flipped the switch and I was all production. I designed my life around what I wanted to be doing, but there were still some "fun" things that I just didn't take time for.

One thing Costa Rica did was give me a visual image of work vs. play. The people work hard (although not in a driven mode), but when the weekends come they play hard. They know how to relax. Since I stayed in a home while I was in San Jose I experienced the life of the neighborhood on weekends. Besides Mama and Papa, there were two adult children in the home, age 23 and 26. Children generally live at home until they marry.

From late afternoon on Friday, the whole atmosphere of the street changed. Music began pouring out of the windows. You could hear different styles and sometimes even hear people singing to it. The family I lived with slept late and spent time together at meals, went shopping at the market together, cook together, and on Sunday afternoon they all gathered in the master bedroom to lie in bed and talk.

The engaged daughter would have her fiance join in many of the family events and when she was missing I knew she was joining in her fiance's family events. They would also visit parents/grandparents during the weekend or talk to them by phone if in another town. The emphasis on family is very strong and it was a delight to see them interact.

Well ... I'm in Virginia now and I don't hear the same bird sounds, but Spring is bringing some migrants through and I am able to putter around the garden a bit. No orchids and tropical flowers but soon there will be blossoms that will attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. All in time. The seasons and cycles of life and weather mold and shape life. I'm finding ways to bloom where I'm planted rather than waste any time wishing I was in Costa Rica.

A few excerpts from Ecclesiastes 3 help me to focus on what Solomon thought about life:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent and a time to speak. What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.

1 comment:

Jan said...

Donna,

It sounds like such a peaceful trip. I'm glad you had such a relaxed and enjoyable time.

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