Costa Rica is a misty majestic haven. A tropical rainforest. Everything grows here. It’s a lush ecosystem with miles and miles of itself overflowing in greens and browns. You cannot deny earth here. Her colors are not just on the faces of the people. She is along the Caribbean coast and on the beaches of tan and black sands; on the roots, trunks, and branches of every tree.
There are so many worlds. Cold ones, hot ones, low ones, high ones. So many tongues of people, insects, and animals. Spider monkeys, parrots, and snakes. The grass hoppers sing with their soprano winged sticks. They are louder than the engines. They are louder than the quiet meditations in the morning. At night, the ocean’s soft rumble is a soundtrack to dreams. A damp heaven. Yet, nothing is louder than the ocean’s pouring sky.
Puerto Viejo is a small beach town lined with restaurants, boutiques, souvenir shops, and bicycles chained to coconut trees. The town holds a dense diversity that ranges from Canada to Brazil. Europe to Africa. If you close your eyes and tune out the waves crashing, the ring from bicycles, the reggae music from Tex Mex, you would think you were in the heart of midtown minus the traffic and the sounds of construction. It’s a busy town.
The town holds an array of languages from tourists, natives, and transplants. If I didn’t know any Spanish, I could have still gotten around. Here the scaffolds are the palms and when the night illuminates, the sky is like a suburban home with a million white christmas lights. It is almost scary, the naturalness of it all. How open it is. The wild open growing of everything. Walking on the side of the road. Very different from the way NYC is contained.
We stayed just outside of town in Casa Caribe, a walking distance from Playa Negra. I’d never seen a black sand beach before. The sand is very fine, so fine it easily sticks in your clothes and hard to rinse out. It's not the best sand to sculpt castles out of because the grains aren't very durable. The ocean, a roaring lion eating Zi's moat and castles. But, the waves are a surfer’s dream. Zi would play in the sand and I just stared and stared on how the water somersaulted towards us and rolled back into sea in a never-ending exchange akin to belly, nose, and breath.
We came here because of Makeda Voletta, the Body Scientist. Makeda teaches a Sensual Strength Training workshop where she combines the jade egg practice with exercises, African diasporic dances, and meditations to clear, heal, and strengthen women's cores. It really is a sacred circle of women who came for varying reasons. Some women want to heal from traumatic childbirths, sexual abuse, or want to increase their orgasmic potential. The sacred egg practice also helps with regulating periods, minimizing cramps, and assisting with childbirth and recovery. Women from San Jose, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, and Brooklyn came to Puerto Viejo, Limon for the workshop. Other mothers brought their daughters, so not only was it great for me to connect with women, Zi also connected with other girls.
I rented a bike with a child’s seat and every morning we rode through what I call the jungle. The workshop was held in Hidden Gardens, but what the locals call, Casa Redonda, because the architecture of the building is round. The property is owned by a Brooklynite, Rachel. Her place is surrounded by herbs she grows. She is an herbalist and moved to Costa Rica after she fell in love with the place. It really is one of those places that makes you want to stay here forever.
Costa Rica was a part of the journey that I needed. It was our neutral ground because I really didn’t know anyone here. I was anonymous and that felt great because I felt like I was given the chance to reset myself on this journey. Leaving the challenges related to Kingston and meeting Zi’s paternal side of the family for the first time held a certain weight for me, a load older than the choices I made when I decided to have a daughter with her father. I felt very safe here despite our perceived loneliness. This leg of the journey, this piece of land, was all about healing and starting to answer the questions around healing my womb--more on this later...
Half the time that I was here it rained. We came down during rain season and it pours! It is a silencing rain. You aren’t going anywhere in it. The land gets real muddy. I regretted not packing any boots and I had to invest in an umbrella. But, I enjoyed the silence as the rain crashed all around me. I sat on the balcony of our apartment as the rain washed everything away. It was symbolic of my time here. It was time to heal, time to be renewed.