After a night of rain beating furiously down on our roof, we awaken to a new world. The power of the rain is a force to be dealt with, the water has carved new paths into the sodden Earth. The torrential downpour has washed away old patterns, replacing them anew.
“What is the scent of water? Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.” ~ Elizabeth Goudge
Dawn shines on a different world today. Everything is changed. The rain has cleared out the old, stagnant energy that lingered and suffocated. What was before, is now gone. What never was, now is. The world is starting over, painting a new beginning. The rain is cleansing. It washes away the past while making room for the future.
Can you feel it? The change? The change that comes with the rain?
The Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica averages between 200-300 inches of rain per year. (To help you put that number into perspective, Seattle is known as one of the rainiest cities, but only averages 38 inches of rain per year.) But in Seattle it can be a constant drizzle, with no sign of the sun for days, or even weeks at a time.
Even during rainy season in Costa Rica, it is rare to have more than a day or two without sunshine. Most mornings start out sunny and clear, with the rain hitting in the afternoon/evening.
But the rain is different here. When you get caught in a downpour of sideways jungle rain, no umbrella or rain jacket will keep you dry. These extreme, powerful downpours can cause flash floods, landslides, swollen rivers, swift currents, and other hazards.
"There’s always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down." ~Don DeLillo
My husband Andy and I are sitting on top of this mountain of jungle, watching the rain change the land before us, witnessing the jungle come down around us, one tree at a time. Out with the old, in with the new.
I know we must weather the storm, embrace the new, bend flexibly into the breeze of change. But it was a sad day for us when one of our favorite bird watching trees took it's last breath, fell, and crumbled into the Earth, with a solemn sigh.
Two Scarlet macaws sharing our favorite tree with a Mealy parrot.
Two Black-mandibled toucans enjoying the tree.
Late one evening we were startled by a thundering boom, as a tree across the road from our house viciously uprooted itself, ripping its veins from the dirt, and toppling over in the ruthless downpour surrounding it. The eerie silence that followed seemed to honor the life of the tree. The heavy rain paused for a moment, acknowledging the sacrifice. The silence is followed by more ripping sounds, as another tree crashes to it's death. And another. And another.
Our walls begin to shake as the thundering sound builds with anger. The ground caves in and a landslide of mud, trees, and debris melt into a horrifying river of turmoil. A tsunami of jungle is rushing down the side of the mountain, toward us, and the sound is deafening. Fear floods my veins and my body goes numb with terror. After 30 never-ending seconds, the sound stops as suddenly as it began...our ninth life, in Costa Rica, spared.
We head outside at first light to examine the destruction. The landslide came to a stop at the bottom of the valley, just across the road from our house.
Hiking up the road, we photograph the sheer drop-off the landslide left behind.
The gaping hole where the trees used to stand now opens up to a stunning, panoramic ocean view. Clearing out the old, making room for the new.
I've never been good with change (says the girl who moved to Costa Rica without a plan). But the only constant in life is change. We must bend, or we will break. Change only means what was before wasn't meant for you. Learn to let things go, for the simple fact they are heavy. Change is inevitable, progress is optional.
Beneath the renewal of the rain, while surfing life's waves of change, we will find our new direction...
"Good night. I have said my prayer with the forest; stood to the dark and the rain; cast my voice on the storm. Though my body shall lie in heavy slumber, my petition has gone on, caught and carried in the surge of the trees, whirled in high vortex over the mountain, drifting in black mists through the fertile night. Acknowledged, answered, in the drip of the rain."
~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.