And yet another from KFW:
A time that I was called to the water – ? Impossible to say only a, as in one time. I am always-always-always called to the water. When I am out here in the world, as I am now, as I am so often, it’s the water that calls me. Ohsure, the mountains are grand, spectacular, magnificent, but I’m not one of those people who sees a mountain and says, ‘oh, I’ve got to climb that!’ Yes, I love the mountains, but the sea, the sea, the sea is in me in ways the mountains can’t begin to touch (unless of course, we’re talking the mountains’ rivers and lakes!).
When I was in preparation mode for this journey through Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras, it’s as if the waters charted my course. The waters of rivers and lakes and the sea, ohyes, always the sea. Why here, why this part of the planet? Well, of course, because here, all these waters are warm and that is the very best kind of water of all!
So on this pilgrimage through the waters, I’ve been swimming in the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea on tiny little Isla Iguana in the San Blas Archipelago in Panama, an island I was able to walk around in under two minutes. I stayed several days there and for all that time, the water was the center of everything. Crystal clear, warm as a bath and turquoise the color that’s a color that can come only out of god’s palette.
From there it was the Caribbean waters of Bocas del Toro, swimming in waves that were almost, almost too big on Red Frog Beach at Isla Bastimentos and Cayo Zapatillo, the idyllic nature reserve island seen only here and in our tropical dreams. And then Playas Estrella and Tortuga on Isla Colon near Bocas town.
And then there was the snorkeling off a boat out in the middle of the waters – the most extraordinary snorkeling I’ve ever done (and hey, I’ve done some snorkeling in my life!) – healthy coral, vast colors of every hue and fish doing their fishy thing. Not a goosebump to be felt anywhere on my body hours and hours after being in the water. Yes, this is my water, this is my kind of water!
Ahhhh, Playa Estrella – Star Beach – so named because of the tons of the brightest, most brilliant orange starfish blanketing the sea floor. No need for a mask, the waters are so clear all you need to do is look down and there they are, the largest I’ve ever seen. No tortugas at Playa Tortuga, but still, the ever-present clear, warm water, salty enough to remind me of my own salty body, my own salty tears and sweat and fluid, all part of this salty sea where I feel so at home, so comfortable, so warm and so safe. At peace.
I’ve dipped into the mighty Rio San Juan that’s had a critical historical role in this entire region, let alone here in Nicaragua where I have experienced it at El Castillo. And again, to my delight, warmwarmwarm. And now, today, there’s the waters of Lago di Nicaragua calling me. I will leave on a ferry from Granada this afternoon and spend the next week on Isla Ometepe a huge volcanic island in the center of a lake that boasts thousands (yes, thousands!) of miles of shoreline. And again, warm, warm water. Are you getting the picture here? It’s not just water that calls me, it’s the warm water in which I am alive like in no other venue. (Venue, that’s a funny word to use, but there it is, venue.)
I step into the warm water – my body fully relaxed, no need for the slightest flinch or contraction. I can stay in the waters for hours with no need for a break or to get warm; I am simultaneously cooled, refreshed and held in the warmth. The warm water says: welcome, welcome, this is your home, this is where you can float free and easy, relax into your body, float and submerge, go down and come back up. You belong here, you belong here. You are held by this water, the salt of the earth is the salt of the sea. The salt of your flesh is the salt of my sea. Come. This is your home. This, the water of life, the elixir of life.
Droplets of water kissing me
Playing in the waves
Holding the deep respect for the water that lets it know I know it’s in charge.
I accept its grand and generous invitation that welcomes me here.
I know I’m a visitor, a guest on guest status and that respect and honor for its power means everything.
So I respect and I honor.
And I play and I frolick.
And I am deeply at home and in a state of ecstasy I find here, only here, in warm water.
From Isla Ometepe, I will swim again in the Pacific waters near the ancient colonial city of Leon. Then it will be the Rio Cangrejal in Honduras, where the whitewater rafting is the finest in all of Central America. And then I will complete by trip back in the warm Caribbean waters of Honduras’ Bay Islands where more floating and frolicking and snorkeling and diving await.
And so I am called to continue to follow the rivers and the lakes all over this planet. All over, I follow them, as they find their way out to the mighty sea, ultimately the one sea, where all of them, where everything, where all of us converge. Into the mighty and warm sea that welcomes all life, that welcomes us to find the pleasure and joy of being alive, embodied, in our bodies, in its body as we dance and celebrate in the waters of life.