This week I have 2 amazing readers’ memories to share with you all—thank you so much for sharing ladies (and thanks Tara for the first love story of the month, I loooove a good love story).
Favorite memory from Tara Mazzeo of Fort Lauderdale, Florida: “La Pura Vida”
In the spring of 2006 I set off on a journey with a dear friend of mine.
It was one of those “take a time-out from your life” kind of adventures and I was in desperate need of it. You see, my life was a constant state of Chaos and I was over it. So I decided that I was going to allow myself to hit the coveted snooze button and go on a treasure hunt for that shiny gem known as Clarity.
Our plane touched down, we de-boarded and there we were…Paradise had been found! We made it to the lush, tropical, untouched purity of Costa Rica.
I could feel a shift as soon as my feet landed on the tarmac. I shed some layers of clothing (it was cooking hot) and though I didn’t know it yet, I also shed some of those pesky inhibitions that were cramping my Spirit’s style.
The first few days were spent lounging, reading, swimming, sunning and detoxing the stressors I left at home. The cotton candy sunsets, bold iguanas and howling howler monkeys took residence where the sights and sounds of city living once did.
Before I knew it relaxation had set in and running in tandem with it was the weekend.
My girlfriend and I decided to head out on the “town”. Now, by “town” I mean tiny little surf town on the edge of the Costa Rican jungle, of which you navigate by dirt roads and big smiles.
It was this night, in this town, backlit by stardust that I never knew to exist, that I met him.
Our paths crossed in a manner that only makes sense if you never question it. We fell into a state of normalcy that would historically have taken me aback. Lucky for me, I had just excavated a state of mind akin to blissful relaxation, so I decided to be Zen and just roll with it.
My mantra was something along the lines of “Tara, be Zen, roll with it, don’t question the magic and be sure to call the airlines and extend your stay”.
(FYI: My mantra was a success.)
It was a whirlwind romance that made all the sense in the world. The only issue was…I was a world away.
My last morning in Costa Rica found my hiding spot. My two worlds were colliding.
He drove me back to my neglected hotel (and forgiving best friend) before the sun began to rise. We parked out front sharing a very long and hesitant farewell, filled with pleas and wishes by both of us that I could stay longer (maybe forever). But home and the chattering list of life obligations began to trickle into my Zen. The only words that found their way to my voice were the ones that said I couldn’t stay. I wanted to stay…but I couldn’t.
My heart and my soul slumped their shoulders in defeat. They were advocates of staying.
Before I could let him change my mind, I kissed him one last time, hopped out of the truck and bolted toward my room without daring myself to look back.
I flung the door open and my girlfriend greeted me with a look of shock and the following words: “I can NOT believe you are coming home!”.
My response was: “I can’t believe it either”.
I packed my bag in a fury. Within minutes there was a knock at the door. My heart jumped, my soul squealed in delight. I looked at my friend and said: “It looks like I’m staying after all!”.
Much to my dismay, it wasn’t him with one last request, it was our driver letting us know he was ready to begin our long journey back to the airport where this whole adventure began.
We tossed our bags in the car, gave our surroundings one last look and crawled into the backseat. My heart and my soul reassumed their disapproving positions. I sat back, closed my eyes and did my best to tell myself I was making the right choice. Soon, the gentle rocking of driving on unpaved roads had me drifting off to sleep.
It wasn’t long into the drive that I could feel the car begin to slow and then come to a stop. I slowly opened my eyes. The dirt roads illuminated by the rising sun created a magical, dusty curtain over the countryside. I whispered to my girlfriend asking her why we stopped. Her eyes widened and she told me to look ahead, through the windshield.
That’s when I saw it.
Standing there, in the middle of the road, was a white horse so grand, so pure, so dreamlike I could hardly believe it to be true. He stood there, looking at us, unafraid, unwavering and beautiful beyond words.
My girlfriend turned to me, she held my hand and she said: “Tara, what do you think he’s saying to you?”.
I would love to tell you I listened to his message that day, turned around, drove back to my love and stayed in that little casita on the edge of the Costa Rican jungle forevermore…but I can’t.
Instead, what I can tell you is that I did, in fact, find the clarity I was searching for on that adventure in Paradise. I can tell you, with certainty, that I was forever changed. I can tell you that I am engaged to marry that man and we plan to do so on the beach where we met in Costa Rica. Of course, I can also tell you that I believe in magical white horses who are messengers and reminders of the life you are meant to life.
:: Always from under the same sky ::
Favorite memory from Alana Mairs of Vancouver, British Columbia
A few years ago, I spent a weekend on a tugboat. A docked tugboat, that is.
I found the tugboat on a vacation rental site. My friends and I wanted to get out of town and the tugboat was located just a short ferry ride from Vancouver.
A lazy Saturday afternoon. Scotch. Hazy sun. Friends sitting around a galley table shooting bottle caps back and forth. Time stands still.
I have photos of the hike we did to a bald patch of rock overlooking the ocean, and of us pretending to drive the tugboat, and of the little town itself, but none of them quite capture the feeling of peace I remember when I look at this photo: