The last three days of my life were spent in mourning. Mourning for a young soul I never met, but in mourning nonetheless. The phone rang early Monday morning to inform us that my boyfriend’s nephew had passed away. He had been living in Costa Rica for the last several years, so I never had an opportunity to meet him.
Families are sprawling in Nicaragua. I’m sure this is partially thanks to the Catholic church’s strong influence on the country. Thus, as we set off early Monday morning for the home of the grieving mother, I was under-prepared for the scene in store. At first, there were just a few people gathered outside under the shade of a tree, silently sitting while mom and abuela wept. Throughout the day the crowd grew. Neighbors came toting their own chairs, as the family didn’t have enough to seat all of the supporters. Coffee was made in small Styrofoam cups and passed around. Then pan, white bread served on plastic platters carried around by nieces and neighbors to keep all the mourners comfortable. The story of what happened was repeated time and again by momma.
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When we want to dive into a deeper, more meditative practice of yoga and listening to the mind, our modern lives require that we consciously create that space. That might mean creating an area for meditation in your home – a room or corner dedicated to deep thought or introspection. It might mean that you find a group of people meeting regularly at your local yoga studio, zen buddha center, or something similar, and show up for class. Or, it might mean that you take a length of time to retreat, to an organized event like a 10 Vipassana Meditation Center, or simply to the wilderness. In my life, I have always, always, always found a deep heart connection simply by surrounding myself with trees. I have sweet memories from my childhood when I would trek off to the small woods behind my elementary school and spend hours taking in the loamy scent of decaying leaves and swampy mud and stare up at the tree tops and the sky beyond, feeling connected to all those trees growing tall over my head with roots intertwining under the earth beneath me. One of my favorite hiding spots as a young girl was a tremendous pine tree with boughs that spread out wide but a quiet, clear space in the center. I would soften enter that tree and stay under it’s cool, green protection for hours, and would seek it out specifically when I was upset about something. I always found that quiet space with the scent of time cooling and calming. That said, I find myself ready now to move on from Granada and towards the wilderness. As I prepare to make this change, I”m also finding my practice move away from a strongly physical practice and more towards a yin yoga, Kundalini yoga, pranayama, and meditative practice.
Granada has been the perfect place to transition to life in Central America. Being the wealthiest city in Nicaragua, it offers many niceties to extranjeros such as opportunities for western food, a lively and active Calzada where the cerveza flows and the conversation raps all night, and opportunities to escape the oppressive heat in cool blue pools. Read the rest of this entry