aside from all of the rainy day yoga and cold river bathing and hammock writing, my favorite part of our experience at buenaventura was the day the clouds receded and the sun shone on us for a full-fledged jungle hike.
we crossed the river and hiked up a steep mountain behind harlow, machete in tow. he told us which plants not to touch and told us stories about jaguars, while hacking down heaps of bananas. we took pictures inside the arms of the tree of life.
so our goal in this trek, aside from fixing the almighty internet box at the top of the mountain (and you think unplugging your router is annoying), was to become avatar people.
apparently there are places in the jungles of costa rica where you can find natural blue clay. harlow took us to one of these spots, at a creek near two waterfalls, where we covered our bodies in this soft, moisturizing clay from head to toe.
as our skin became blue like avatars of the mountain, i watched everyone around me become giddy with this primal energy, turning into raw little creatures of the earth, moving slow and concentrated. because, for just those moments, we were far from civilization, covered in the elements, acutely aware of our skin and our limbs and the lines on our faces---not the future or the past, or the "real" world waiting for us an hour downhill. we were there, just us. and we were all the same color, all exactly the same.
after reveling in our oneness for a few moments, the sky opened up and rain sprinkled down on us, making beautiful, synchronized splashes in the creek. we gasped and giggled and carefully maneuvered our way down wet boulders to a freezing cold waterfall where we washed our skin clean and felt entirely new again.
it was maybe the most revitalizing experience of my life. the cold and powerful rush of water on my head, the open-mouthed smiles of everyone i was with, and the uncovering of blue mud, which revealed the softest, clearest, happiest skin.
we let gravity take us back down to earth, all soft and clear and new again.
always we begin again...