I wake up. I thank God for a new day. I place my stainless steel kettle, on my cast iron, double burner, preparing water for tea. My kitchen window is a frame for a hibiscus hedge. They create a view of lush green leaves and red flowers. It could be worse. It’s no longer the meadow, where I watched horses and foal wander aimlessly, grazing. They were pieces, of my picturesque puzzle, of Costa Rica. From the pioneer days. A time when no one wanted to be in Potrero. They called our pueblo, the Bronx. Some, simply have no vision.
I sweep the red, ochre stained, concrete floor, and open the door, to labor over my porch. I am pleasantly, assaulted by crisp, uncontaminated air. It always takes me back. Beyond my patio, is a garden, thick with jungle flora that I have no name for, other than alluring. It once was barren; leveled to start construction of my dwelling here. That did not last long. Plants grow here at an accelerated speed. If the growth was not cut back, the jungle would quickly reclaim my minimal lot. My tiny corner, that is home for two human families, and numerous fauna, would be blanketed. We would be smothered. The animals would accumulate. The iguanas, parrots, hummingbirds, snakes, crabs, scorpions, squirrels, possum, mapaches, skunks and the occasional ant eater and turtle would rejoice. The monkeys would sing for days. Still, my humble abode, is a sanctuary for both us and the creatures.
I sit to write this experience, on the heels of a nightmare journey to the city of San Jose. It is such a clash, to the senses. Every trip to town, holds a tight, squeezed bond with the devil. Wether doing legal work, or trying to right some financial wrong, over a purchased item, or having to maneuver the car through the mountainous Indian trails, you are aware that there is an underbelly, to this paradise. And in between each scare of property rights, taxes owed and misunderstandings of culture and language, each triumph or despair over some machine or gadget, blaring of horns and crazy u turns, you insanely make, because you know if you don’t, you run the risk of being lost, in the bowels, of the low lying tin roofs and narrow alleys of the unfamiliar city, for hours. Swallowed whole. Eaten alive by the unknown. And yet, I visit friends, either by stopping by, or seeing them in the streets, or in the mall. The vehemence melts. There are smiles and hugs, all around. And for a brief time you breath. Then back to the lair of confusion.
Now I am safe with my tea, swearing, I will never do it again. No more of those crazy trips again.
The conflict is a crack up.
The tea a blend of comfort.