Dec 24, 2008 at 10:24 AM
It is so odd to me not to be walking on Brasilito Beach. I fell completely in love with a place that is both inconvenient and impractical to love.

I will be returning to Costa Rica again shortly, I know. But meanwhile, I will be arranging my life around being more mobile, around the transitive existence that I always gravitate toward in the end. I am mercury, and none of my friends quite know what to make of it. I hate being in the same place. But for the time being, Costa Rica really does feel more like home than anywhere else short of the ranch.

I will be organizing and producing and planning.

There is nothing else to do. I don't feel very attached to my life right now, and I think it's possible that this disattached state is a bad one to remain in, but highly useful for the time being. I can throw myself into any existence and make it what I will of it while I am less serious and less attached and less fixedly certain that things are a particular way.

There is something about Costa Rica, about the Gold Coast. About Guanacaste. It feels like HOME in a powerful, undeniable way. I learned the language, I made friends, I felt happier than I have EVER felt in my life.

I will return there, I am certain.

For every second since I've left, my thoughts remain at least partially there, walking the pitted streets, and I notice the lack of sea breeze. I can hear the surf pushing and pulling me still when I sleep, I smell the beach in my mind. I feel the sun on me even though I'm nowhere near it. I can look up and see that brilliant full moon above the cocodrillo-shaped mountain and the Catalinas. I am still THERE to a very large degree.

I have been teaching Libby useless Spanish words she doesn't need or care about too much.

But I must pull myself together into the here and now.

Tomorrow I fly home to the biggest snow storm in 40 years, and I start a hard winter. It is time to turn myself North, and focus on where I am RIGHT NOW. And where I will be for the next several months. What will I be doing next week, next month? I will be planning. I will use this harsh winter as refueling time, as time to gather. I will try not to get upset about the change to being very cold from being very warm. It's just another difference between here and there.

In about two months, the first daffodils will poke themselves up from harsh, hard ground, and will make the gorgeous bouquets that I love to place on my dining room table.

In a few weeks, I will be all moved into the new house.

In a few days, I will be smelling the amazing smell of pitch and cedar burning in my stove. It is one of life's best simple pleasures.

In March, I will take many many walks in the woods and I will smell Spring's first buds long before they actually form, while they still reek of promise from beneath black silty soil.

I will gather my thoughts, my plans, my goals, just as nature does each Winter, and emerge stronger and better, as I have for the last several winters in the woods.

Do you know what I would really love? To be able to be both places. To live in Costa Rica half the time and home on the ranch the other half. I know it's odd, but winter is when I want to be on the ranch. And Spring.

If you don't know winter well, and cannot emerge with the feel of a brand new existence after a cold harsh winter, there is a part of you that never resets, on some deeply primal human level.

Perhaps that could be worked out... Summers down South and Winters up North. I would be the opposite of a snowbird.


  1. I definitely agree about the importance of surviving winter and seeing green life return in the spring. I can't imagine what life would be like without that annual cycle.

  2. Kat Says:

    This is a beautiful essay, Desi. I love what you say about winter, and it is a different life - very different when one season follows the next so that you don't notice. Time seems to go by faster without those markers.

    I love that you are mercury, and I understand - there are 3 places I'd like to live, all at once. Maybe more, if I gave it some thought.

    I want you to be happy. But mostly I want you to do well and make progress - the important kind. Be where you can do that, and do what you need to do in order to do that, as a priority, and I will be happy too.

  3. Cat Says:

    You crazy girl, snow is for snowmen! Go back to the beach!

    Man, that's probably just my jealousy talking there. Reading this, I felt for a moment as if I were on the beach in Costa Rica.