A crocodile smiled at me in Costa Rica, and I literally felt my heart being pulled back together as I walked down a street in Washington, D.C. I spent nearly every minute of every day of the last two weeks with my best friend. All of which is to say I had a wonderful vacation, I’m grateful for the time away, and glad to be home.
If there is an Eden this side of the globe, it is surely Costa Rica. Christopher Columbus named it the rich coast. But Incas, Mayan and Aztecs were there long before him. I wonder if they had a word for verdant or if they just called it home. I saw lots of monkeys and lizards and, weirdly, raccoons.
There was a locust as big as my hand who became a red bird when it flew. It’s summer time there but not so hot at the coast, always sunny and breezy. I got sunburned and mosquito bitten and ate star fruit, pineapple and cantaloupe every day. I also ate gallo pinto for my breakfast and loved it so much I found the recipe and am still eating it every morning.*
I could go on forever about Costa Rica but there’s also Washington. We drove nine hours Friday, stood and walked nine hours Saturday, then drove 9 hours again on Sunday. My body was worn through but my spirit had wings. Never before Saturday have I felt so profoundly convinced that human beings working together for a righteous cause can overcome any obstacle. It was a long day of standing, listening, waiting, taking turns and letting others go first in order for everyone to move forward. Not once in nine hours did I hear a harsh word or see an unkind gesture. People who brought chairs gave them up for others nearby. People shared water, coats, snacks. People waited in line for trains for two or three hours. Every race of people. Every age of people. Every combination of family. Police and national guard officers were cheerful and helpful. People there for other events were treated kindly by marchers and vice versa.
In the most close-up, without-a-doubt way I saw and heard that the division and nastiness on the news is not on the street. Nor need it be, because we decide what goes on here, in our neighborhoods and towns. I’ve never been so proud of my country nor so ready to do my part to direct the future.
I’m cooking Wednesday Supper tomorrow: turkey tortellini soup (with and without turkey, of course), crudités, yeast rolls, lemon bars for dessert. I miss you, so I hope you’ll come and see me.
* My favorite is heating up a bowl of it and mixing in a scrambled egg, some tomatillo sauce and a smidge of Greek yogurt.