After an emotional morning saying goodbye to people who I had traded so much heart with over the course of teacher training, Greta and Jess and I continued on our own adventure.
Greta: let me tell you about Greta. My first interaction with Greta was on an online forum for our teacher training, and Greta had posted that she was looking for a roommate before training began.
Greta and I instantly clicked, and talked about our plans to travel and see what ever else we could manage see in Costa Rica in the couple of days we had after teacher training ended. In retrospect I still think its pretty incredible that she was so open to plan an adventure with someone she hadn't met yet (thank goodness for me, because I can't imagine Costa Rica without her!)
Greta has an incomparable sense of adventure and a vast wealth of love to give to the world. The best way I can describe her is that she is a rainbow distilled into a human being. I am so grateful for all that this little lady taught me.
This gorgeous soul is Jess, who has come to be like a sister in many ways. Jess and I met and almost instantly realized we had so many things to talk about and work out and through together. I am eternally grateful that I found her when I did, or that she found me. Jess had no period, no full stop at the end of her teacher training, and was open to joining Greta and I on our adventure to Nosara. So on we went.
When I was in Nosara, it was March, and it was dry season. To me, it seems ironic that the hotter the climate, the deader everything is, because I am used to when things are cold and dreary it also means that everything is dead. It was strange to see that in the equivalent of what I consider a Canadian summer, everything was dead or dying. This is the importance of travelling: experiencing things that are upside down or backwards from your usual way of thinking about them.
When we got to the Lagarta Lodge where we were staying, we were greeted with fresh coconut water.
I had never liked coconut water before, but then I had only ever had it from a tetra pack from a grocery store. Coconut water from a coconut that is machete'd open by a jacked Costa Rican lady seems so much more legit, and evidently tasted better (is it possible to taste context? Because I think what I'm saying is that I did.)
The meals at our teacher training were all vegetarian (and ayurvedic to boot!), and after teacher training, we loved how great we felt, so decided to continue to not eat meat.
After lunch, our room was ready, so we went to check out our pad for our stay.
Boy, we weren't disappointed. Can you even believe that view of the ocean flanked by the rain forest? (Side note: is it possible for anyone ever to be disappointed in Costa Rica? One of my friends who you will meet later in this post had ants crawling in her underwear bag in her suitcase after a 12 hour long travel day, which she then brought into our other friend's hotel room. They both took it in stride… A few other friends got "attacked by" (okay, I'm being dramatic, 'surprised by' and 'stung by' are more accurate) scorpions and barely even flinched. Apparently pura vida is an instant state of mind).
Our first morning in Nosara, Greta and Jess and I rose with the sun. Jess decided to do some yoga on our patio overlooking the ocean while Greta and I traipsed happily into the rain forest that was literally the backyard to the lodge where we stayed.
Is there a word for when leaves sift the sunlight that pass through them, like nature's stained glass window? There should be.
We came upon what I feel was the highlight of the hike:
A vast clearing filled with massive trees whose roots were exposed to show us the way in which they appeared infinite and tangled.
As far as we could see on either side of us were roots ecstatically spiralling into and out of the ground, intertwining with one another.
The pictures do not do this breathtaking view justice.
What better way to pay tribute to these incredible trees than by taking tree pose?
After our inspired yoga poses, we played on the roots as balance beams…
… and Greta quite literally became the tree hugger that we all already knew she was.
With a sense of reluctance we peeled ourselves away from these incredible trees and continued on the road away from the grove of infinite roots, with eager excitement for what the path had in store for us ahead.
Exploring was a multi-sensory experience. The exotic sounds of the monkeys and birds enveloped us, and the scent of trees and the leaves in the humid air flooded our noses. We saw things that we never imagined we could see, and when we felt around with our hands, what we felt didn't always match our other senses.
The adaptability of nature never ceases to amaze me. Whenever I need to feel hope, I know I can immerse myself in nature and be instantly uplifted. Take for example this tree (above), who uses its bark to extend the surface area by which it can absorb sunlight and become even more proficient at photosynthesis, thereby maximizing its energy. Can you even believe how cunning that tree is, to overcome the elements that threatened its survival? Pretty amazing if you think about it.
Other trees adapted in various, but all unique ways. We may have been tree huggers in the photos above, but we certainly weren't about to hug this spiky tree.
Greta went to touch this bamboo tree, and found that even though the bark looked smooth, when she ran her hand up towards the sky, it actually felt like a fur coat.
We are yogis after all, and when the mood to arm balance strikes you all of a sudden on the path in a rain forest in Costa Rica, you more or less just have to concede and go with it. (Also, its Greta… when doesn't the mood strike her to take on some advanced yoga asana would be a better question.)
As we meandered through the trails, we made sure to take the time to stop and smell the flowers, being entirely present in our experience.
We emerged from the rain forest to find a river that seemed to run almost into the ocean, but not quite (to our vantage point anyways!)
People were doing SUP on the river, however when I talked to one of the locals, they mentioned that saltwater alligators hung out in the river, which immediately and entirely extinguished any of my interest in trying to SUP in Nosara.
Perhaps one of the things to take away from these extraordinary trees in Nosara, is that even though they are all extremely unique, the are similar in the way they use their roots and their grounding to allow them to reach up. Although I am always looking for the next adventure, the next challenge, and am busy flying from event to event, it is important to find grounding, to root down into the present, and to absorb and appreciate what each moment has to give me. The important thing is synthesizing all of the wonderful aspects of each moment and pulling them into my self, so that I can grow and reach new heights. Perhaps grounding down is the best way to learn to fly.