As promised last week, here is a snippet of our trip to Costa Rica. We went to a small strip of land surrounded by ocean, canals and forest called Tortuguero. It is named after Turtles which use the black sandy beaches of Tortuguero for the nesting/hatching session.
I chose this place because it seemed contained enough to make the most of 4 nights. And it is essentially a jungle next to the ocean. For the longest time, I have wanted to go to the Amazon rain forest – not sure if I will get the chance, so I decided to make at least one jungle getaway. We did a lot of nature-related activities like jungle walks and canoe trips to see the flora/fauna. We also did a turtle tour at night to see the mom lay eggs. And we were lucky enough to witness the hatching of baby turtles.
The baby turtles hatch when the temperature is right and somehow make the long journey from the beach to the ocean. They are so tiny that even a footprint in the sand is like a vast mountain they must hike over. They are so tiny that they get tired and wait a few moments before joining the ocean. They know instinctively to get to the ocean and swim. The mother lays about 60-80 eggs at any given time, and she lays eggs about 6-8 times during the hatching season. And only one in a thousand turtles survives up to adulthood – such is nature. The mother digs a hole in the beach, lays eggs and camouflages the location by digging other holes. Jaguars roam the jungle and seem to find turtle meat suitable. They are known for killing fully-grown mother turtles. When we witnessed the mother turtle laying eggs and making her way back to the ocean – it felt as if I was experiencing something outside this world.
There is something to be said about witnessing nature with your own eyes and not through a screen. I felt so much awe, reverence and respect for nature and how it works that I was ecstatic for a few days and even now a little. Nature is perfect – everything works the way it should. We saw herons capable of having one side of their brain active to avoid predators. Some reptiles blend so well with the leaves that you cannot spot them. We saw alligators who only expose a portion of their head and back because it is the strongest of their body to deter predators as they patiently wait for unsuspecting prey. I saw gangs of monkeys hanging out on a tree – picking and eating fleas, babies playing and fighting with each other. Watching them use their tail as a fifth limb as they navigated the canopy overhead was fascinating.
People of Costa Rica respect nature and live in harmony with it – they even have a phrase called Pura Vida – true life. And they consciously chose to bring back a forest after the primary one had been destroyed by deforestation a century ago.
What I left with was the thought that if everything in nature works as it should be – how come I think my life is not unfolding how it should be? At the end of the day, I am also a part of nature, and we are all part of the universe. So why is it so difficult for me to have the same faith and belief as my fellow beings in the forest? We can exercise our choice but do it with the belief in nature or despite the belief.
How would your life be different if you had the unshakeable inner knowing that the universe is friendly and is looking after you?