The homebody writer follows her travel happy husband to Costa Rica, and finds herself lost in the jungle.
† Travelerís Mind
Distant and not so distant shrieks, rat-a-tats and whistles syncopate the landscape. Just now, the tiniest of birds darts past, singing out a most pretentious screech. Always the possibility of a monkey overhead, or else the poison red dart frog. A single drop of its blood will kill a healthy man. Still I trudge through the muddy thicket, knowing I could surprise one, or worse, have one surprise me. Why do I do this?
Because I am traveling, and traveling causes people to board rickety single engine planes driven by pilots who wear dirty Bermuda shorts and fiddle with headphones instead of looking at the sky. I would never ever fly in a plane so small but here I am, flying in a plane so small. My hands are blue with fear and I close my eyes to let the time pass but the time doesnít pass, it holds itself heavy and thick over treacherous mountains and green twisting roads, and then quietly stops on a strip of sand.
Nothing is familiar, not the trees, not the dirt, not the iridescent lizard who slithers past. I do not recognize the muscles that guide me down and up steep inclines, that keep my heart pumping pumping through the heat, through the overwhelming sense of wonder.
I sit down, slowly, there are ants that carry large tree parts and I do not want to squash them. I sit so that no part of me touches and allow the hot breezes to fan my skin. There is no sound and then at once, every single living thing lets out a crude announcement: I am alive! I put my hands over my head and still, the shrill cry of life echoes in my ears. The rock beneath me quivers, as if to speak. Or maybe it is a bird. Or maybe it is me.