Every story has a beginning. This is mine.

 

Sweat rose in the layer of sunscreen on my body, the weight of summer heat laid upon me in thick, immovable slabs, and warbled like an illusion over the sand.

I was browning like biscuits in the oven, hot even beneath the shade of the almond tree that dropped exhausted leaves and heat-stroked wasps on me from above. The ocean rolled away, eyes closed to my gentle suffering on the sand.

There was my soul, secreted away on my favorite little beach in Costa Rica. I knew she (my soul, that is) was coming along on this trip, but didn’t realize the full weight of carrying her until my final week there.

She let me have it as I was packing and plotting my way back home at the end of those three months, to the cold January mountains, and into the new year that would change everything.

I cried at random intervals that week. On my last full day, a sob would catch in my throat at nothing in particular. I cried more than I didn’t that day.

And I had no idea why.

I couldn’t pinpoint the trigger, there was no thought, or moment that acted as the light switch to the deep aching that had taken up home in my sternum.

I would wonder at the emotional display of that final week in Costa Rica for the entire year following my trip. I would question it. I would hold it like some souvenir stone I picked up from that beach, and I would turn it over, asking “why, why, why?”

The answers would not come until over a year later, when the dust settled after the emotional sandstorm created in the months leading up to my divorce.

What started as a trip into my writing, a three month work-exchange at an off the grid jungle-beach-yoga lodge way off the beaten path in southern Costa Rica, turned out to be my life’s undoing.

But it also turned into my soul’s homecoming.

It was a becoming and unbecoming.

These are the stories of that journey. A necessary map for myself, to know where I came from so I can understand where I’m going. And a light in the dark for anyone in the middle of a similar journey.

But above all, it’s my souls exhale. Less for you and more for me, and the inner child-writer I left behind all those years ago.