Pura Vida

I can easily recall many scenes in movies where the main character is frantically searching for something, or trying to escape from an enemy, and suddenly she stubs her toe, or trips and falls, only to discover something very important located right where she lands. The flashlight! The gun! The secret escape hatch! Dramatic moments like these don’t happen to me on a frequent basis, but in line with the overall theme, I have been made privy to how an unexpected disruption can lead to something previously undiscovered.

When I was in Costa Rica a few years ago, I was alone in my room just after dusk, when the electricity went out. My dad and I were in a relatively remote area of Monte Verde, and there was little moonlight. I had a hard time seeing even a few inches in front of me, and even if I had slightly improved visibility, the next nearest building was a difficult uphill trek even in broad daylight. I was not about to attempt it alone at night in the dark. Let’s face it; I’m not the most surefooted individual in the world.

I began to search for my cell phone to try to generate a little more light, and found my way to the window where I opened the curtains, hoping for illumination. What I saw instead were the most exquisite remnants of the sunset, sinking behind the silhouettes of nearby trees.

I fumbled for my camera and managed to snap a series of pictures through the window in an effort to capture this display. It lasted only a few minutes before again stranding me in cave darkness, but I felt fortunate to have witnessed such a fleeting moment of serenity.


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