Costa Rica Trail Teachings

The Opening: The Beginning. The cracking open of my heart. The opening to living radically differently than before. The entering through the door of possibilities and the shutting of the old. 

Along the trail of the Arenal Volcano hike. 

Along the trail of the Arenal Volcano hike. 

Not long before I decided to head on this solo trip to Costa Rica, I had experienced some pretty life-altering things, at least compared to what my expectations were of life as I knew it then. I soon uncovered that you/I/we can never be sure of anything in life, especially when it comes to relationships of any kind; family, friends or lovers. People will come and go in life, but the one and only, most important relationship we can have is the one we have with ourself; inner, outer, body, mind, physical, emotional, spiritual (and a Higher Power if you believe in that sort of thing). 
Despite the repeatedly expressed doubts and fears of my family (extended family and friends of family included), I grabbed my trusty backpack and, of course, my camera, and left the comfort of "home" to go on an adventure. I was told it was dangerous, silly, and ultimately wrong of me to travel on my own (being a 22-year-old and all), but I somehow knew I needed to go, because something was calling. I didn't care; this was something for me. I also knew this was something much bigger than I could ever anticipate... And I couldn't have been more right.

A beautiful horse peacefully drinks water and roams the green pastures that surround Arenal Volcano (seen covered by a layer of clouds in the background). 

A beautiful horse peacefully drinks water and roams the green pastures that surround Arenal Volcano (seen covered by a layer of clouds in the background). 

The beginning of the Santa Elena Reserve Caño Negro trail. 

The beginning of the Santa Elena Reserve Caño Negro trail. 

I found solace on the paths and trails. I found confirmations, appreciation and strength. I found new Life as little bits of Death shed behind me. From them, I could see that flowers grew. They stretched high into the sky, up above the canopy of trees and onward to infinity.  

Along the trail I left my pain. I left hurt and sadness. How could I ever feel alone with all of this living, breathing, growing Nature around me? Mirroring me. Reflecting me. Grounding me. 

I had never felt so whole. I had never felt so deeply part of something eternal. 

/// 

If you follow me you will see.
Glimmers of dewdrop diamonds, magic sunbeam smiles. 
If you follow me you must be warned: it will get messy, dirty and muddy. That knee-deep kind of mud. But I will show you the way. 
Listen closely to my words. 
Listen closely to my voice. 
It is yours. 
You will find your way if you are focused, if you are dedicated and committed to your highest needs. Not wants, needs
My messages will sometimes be microscopically small, sometimes they will shock the living daylights out of you, so be prepared. Be warned. You are ready. 
You can see the space in-between spaces. You see many things un-seen, un-heard, un-known. 
You will remember.
Freedom is nonsense. You are already free.
Nothing is stopping you. The trail is always here.
Sure, you may have to climb, dig, crouch, crawl, claw and scream, but you will make it. 
Through it all, I will be here. 
I will catch you. 
I will lift you. 
But I will not carry you. 
If you follow me you will see all that you have seen. 
So look up. 
So look around you. 
What do you see? What do you feel and hear? What do you know to be true? 
Me 

You

During the Santa Elena Reserve hike along the Caño Negro trail, probably around 1.5 hours in. The sound of leaves rustling in the wind, exotic birds singing, rain falling on my face... It was all so perfect. 

During the Santa Elena Reserve hike along the Caño Negro trail, probably around 1.5 hours in. The sound of leaves rustling in the wind, exotic birds singing, rain falling on my face... It was all so perfect.