So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

This is the last post of many from the Costa Rican jungle. You can read them all – albeit in reverse order – by choosing SOMEWHERE HOT from the menu (just as you can vicariously enjoy the entire USA ROAD TRIP). For everyone who got in touch and liked along the way – thank you.

It’s time to leave Costa Rica behind. This, for inexplicable reasons, has been where most of the drama in my life has taken place, from the best to the worst: the birth of my son, the loss of my partner, the death of my ma; and perhaps it’s the hope of travelling back that keeps bringing me here, looking. and hanging around.

Although the physical, earthy country in itself is enough of a magnet; a real land of the lotos-eaters, with plenty of foreigners who came for a week thirty years ago and never left, lounging around to prove it.  It’s a pungent, pulsing place with a visceral heat, walls of warm rain, and colours so rich the rest of the world seems drained. Here in the Osa, there is something left of the simplicity and innocence and belief in another greater world, the powers that be, that used to be part of the national psyche. I have often watched Ino the baker watching hummingbirds build their nests; the girls from the hotel watching the sunset;  Wilmer watching the rain;  William and Carmen watching the sea, and enjoyed seeing  the pleasure they have from being where they are – and felt it myself.

Of course I leave my old friend Fitz (and several boxes for him to ship once there is an address to ship to), but there are many things I’ll take with me – not just damp shoes, a collection of feathers, and my notes, but mental images of blue skies and bright birds I’ll file away and bring out on grey days.

I’m signing out with this from Douglas Adams.  I know there are a lot of dolphins just off the shore, and I know they are intelligent. I often stand on the sand and look out there puzzling over what on earth they are all doing. Walking along the beach in the early mornings, I have always  found things the sea has thrown out for me, although never a bowl and a message.

The deep roar of the ocean.

The break of waves on farther shores than thought can find.

The silent thunders of the deep.

And from among it, voices calling, and yet not voices, humming trillings, wordlings, and half-articulated songs of thought.

Greetings, waves of greetings, sliding back down into the inarticulate, words breaking together.  A crash of sorrow on the shores of Earth.

Waves of joy on — where? A world indescribably found, indescribably arrived at, indescribably wet, a song of water.

A fugue of voices now, clamoring explanations, of a disaster unavertable, a world to be destroyed, a surge of helplessness, a spasm of despair, a dying fall, again the break of words.

And then the fling of hope, the finding of a shadow Earth in the implications of enfolded time, submerged dimensions, the pull of parallels, the deep pull, the spin of will, the hurl and split of it, the fight. A new Earth pulled into replacement, the dolphins gone.

Then stunningly a single voice, quite clear.

“This bowl was brought to you by the Campaign to Save the Humans. We bid you farewell.”

And then the sound of long, heavy, perfectly grey bodies rolling away into an unknown fathomless deep, quietly giggling.

Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.

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