Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letters of Love to Costa Rica

Being without consistent access to the internet during my move back to the States has made me feel disconnected from all my friends and loved ones back in Costa Rica. It was a little strange that we had internet at all where we lived on top of our mountain over looking Volcan Arenal and the lake. I always kind of chuckled to my friends and family that I was sitting amidst the sloths, monkeys, and toucans tapping out "love letters" to my dear ones in the States. It is quite a juxtaposition when you think about it... we had line of sight microwave internet that was very expensive, but worth its weight in gold in the rain forest and no internet access in a place over run with technology...go figure.

I am sitting in the air conditioned Chick-fil-a dining room with piped in music and smiling "helpful" Chick-fil-a employees offering to "refresh my beverage" for the umpteenth time...(gotta love them, they really try to please). But in my mind's eye I am sitting on the front veranda of the cabina with my laptop balanced on my knees in the open air, with the strong Tilawa breeze blowing my hair into knots, the sound of hundreds of birds singing in the rainforest. While holding on to that image, I am trying to compose letters of love and gratefulness to those I left behind on the mountain top. I just don't have the words to speak what is in my heart. Everything is muddy, I feel distracted and sad. Really, I can't write to them anyway, since there is no postal delivery to speak of in the pueblo and no one has internet. But it is my desire to send out into the "ether", my thoughts and hopes for them so that at least I have voiced my heart.

   Thank you for being a pillar of strength to your family, the pueblo and each of us in the Binford household. You're courage to face each day and find new ways to provide for your family in a severely depressed economy, enduring the pain of injuries left untended for too many years, has helped me to see my own struggles with a different perspective. The memory of your integrity, staunch devotion and loyalty are a benchmark that I use daily.
   I am so grateful for the quiet, unassuming council you were to our son and for being the best friend and hiking partner that my husband has ever had. Their time in Costa Rica was the joyful and enriching time that it was, largely because of you. I can't thank you enough.

    I smile every time I think of you. Your optomism and humor made my days bright and when I felt low I knew that there was always a kiss on the cheek and a hug waiting for me. Your family is so blessed to have you there to lighten their hearts and carry their burdens on your strong shoulders and I am so blessed that you called me your friend.

    I have tried again and again to put into words what you mean to me... to call you a friend would fall short, to call you a daughter wouldn't hit the mark either. You came into my life as someone to help me around the house and our relationship grew into a precious gem that I hold close to my heart. Hours of sharing thoughts and stories, aided heavily by the Spanish to English/Einglish to Spanish dictionary and a healthy dose of laughter, are some of my favorite memories from our life on the mountain. I think about you daily and miss your sweet smile. When I think of all the people in Costa Rica I hold dear, you are the one it pains me most to live life without. I pray for God to multiply and send back to you, all the kindness and love that you have showered on others. I also hope that someday, we will be able to laugh and share our days together again.

I know that none of these words will reach the people they are meant for, but in speaking them "out loud", I hope the essence of my thoughts may somehow reach them and that the blessing I ask for them will be from my mouth to God's ears.

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