YOGART STUDIO :: Growing Up Barefoot
Nine days have passed since I arrived in Costa Rica. I left behind a grueling 60 hour work week and can already feel and see the changes in my body. The whites of my eyes are whiter than they have been in months and my skin feels a little bit more like my own. I can even feel my body moving differently as I glide in slower paced strides. Before closing my eyes for the night I know longer need to list the following days activities found in my minds endless to-do list. Instead, I retire to bed in such a calm state that my nights are filled with endless dreams. Dreams with so much detail that I can replay them in my mind throughout the next day.
Last night I dreamt of the house I grew up in and I could recall every corner of every room. My ‘playroom’ had fuzzy and matted red, orange, and yellow carpet. I played countless make believe games with my cousins in that room and found my hamster Freddie shaking in the far right corner after he had escaped from his cage. The long flowing brown and yellow curtains screamed of the 70’s and covered the entire wall even though the basement windows only peaked out onto the world. In hindsight, what that room really represented was that our house was falling apart. With each rainfall the fuzzy carpet had to be pulled back to dry as the water seeped and (with storm showers) sometimes flooded in.
On my first night in Costa Rica I met a girl who grew up on the same street as me. Could that be bringing back such detailed memories? Or is it the fact that I’m living with a Costa Rican family and can reflect and contrast my upbringing with this entirely different lifestyle?
Each day I become better adept at noticing and appreciating the small but beautiful details. As I look out the door I immediately notice the layered laundry hanging in front of the tall looming trees with vines so long they beg to be swung from. Beyond the trees, white sandy beaches blanket the landscape before the sound of lapping ocean waters can be seen. My sense of awareness has become heightened so that the “little things” all add up to fill the whole picture …a mother hen walks past the doorway followed by her two chicks, the gentle breeze is in sync with my steady paced breath, and I’m convinced I can even feel the heartbeat of the pregnant chihuahua sleeping on my lap.
The simple yet meaningful moments make me consider the cost of trading in the “comforts” of home and make me question whether we have misplaced the meaning of luxury. Because maybe those comforts are only in place to help us cope? To cope through the overworked, overweight and over anxious lifestyles so many of us lead.
Ian sees me sitting at the table writing and comes running over. He’s 3 years old and my favourite of all the kids in my homestay familia. He doesn’t care that I don’t speak Spanish. Maybe he hasn’t noiced because we still laugh and have fun drawing together. Ian spends his days exploring the beach, chasing animals and playing and I often see him wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and a big goofy grin. I can now notice and appreciate that Ian has the luxury of growing up barefoot.