I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
This Spanish name of what English-speakers call “Torch Ginger” flower, “El bastón del emperador” has stuck with me from my first hearing of it. The English translation is “The Emperor’s staff” (or king’s scepter). And since most of the time I have at least one blooming in my gardens, it is a reminder of who my king is and my early pledges to follow Jesus as my life guide, ruler and “King” if you please. And what better “scepter or staff” for Him than a beautiful tropical flower! 🙂 Here’s the one blooming this weekend:
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods
I always receive much inspiration from every walk up the hill behind my house . . .
The Beautiful in Life
The beautiful in life… Some talk of it in poetry, Some grow it from the soil, Some build it in a steeple, Some show it through their toil. Some breathe it into music, Some mold it into art, Some shape it into bread loaves… Some hold it in their hearts.
Note that I’m not a Roman Catholic but this church is the only one in Atenas that inspires me to seek God – whether photographing from a distance like above or up close from Central Park or going inside their beautiful sanctuary to just sit quietly and pray. I’m inspired by the architecture, the ambience, the tranquility, the beauty, their music and even the church bells ringing! I thank God for this Catholic Church!
To describe part of my walk last Saturday morning early, I found this nice poem:
Cows Upon A Hill
There is nothing I like better In the sunrise of the day To see cows on the hill It’s the perfect time to pray
The Costa Rica University Systems has a special agricultural university campus on the edge of Atenas and these cows I frequently see and like to photograph are a part of that student farm on the next hill over from mine. 🙂 Students study here from all over Central American as the best of Latin American agricultural schools! And they learn a whole lot more than just our local coffee farming! 🙂 And next door to where I live!
Mostly my real time journal and blog posts plus photos and other information that is meant to be inspirational for someone else going through cancer, especially my specific Parotid Tumor Cancer with 68 pages and 87 photos, including a few of my nature posts during that time. 🙂
I also emphasize the value of nature in healing for me. And the title “True Grit” is explained in the book and on back cover, kind of funny! 🙂
Many days an older women in a wheel chair is treated at Radioterapia just before me. The other day I asked the therapists how old she was and in unison they said, “107.” She’s obviously a fighter, still battling cancer at this age! And always smiles when I speak to her, though I don’t have her name or photo yet, I hope to one day.
In Costa Rica many people live to be over 100 years of age. Five areas of the world with a high concentration of people living past 100 are called “Blue Zones” (Wikipedia link), including one in the Nicoya rural area of Costa Rica.
The ingredients of health and long life, are great temperance, open air, easy labor, and little care.
This 107 year old woman reminded me of the many motivations that led to my radical decision to move to Costa Rica in 2014 – including health and old age – while many Americans were questioning me “abandoning” the security, safety, and richness of the U.S. (though I had trouble “making ends meet” living there). 🙂
I spoke to this in my December 21, 2014 blog post (just 3 days before arriving in Costa Rica) sharing one of my favorite Thomas Merton poem-prayers which I repeat here as one example of my Costa Rica Adventure being as much about faith as it is retirement in nature:
A few readers know or remember that I once live in The Gambia, West Africa for three years with many experiences recorded on this same website found by following my AFRICA Travel Page links or going directly to pages for The Gambia and Senegal. I made both of the above photos in Dakar, Senegal.
I got one of my first shocks the first month there when I told the guards that it looked like a rain storm was coming from the north, even though it was “The Dry Season.” They laughed at me and explained that the first month of dry season was called Harmattan and was when the sand and dust from the Sahara Desert blew south and west and that we would soon be covered in dust and sand, thus close your windows. I closed them and it did not help much with everything in the little apartment covered in dust or sand. Incidentally, some years that same Harmattan blows part of the Sahara Desert all the way across the Atlantic to Costa Rica. Really! 🙂
In Costa Rica it is not called “Harmattan,” but we have a similar experience any time from late December to mid-March when the wind blows almost constantly and everything is dusty. It is not as heavy as West Africa, but it is for a longer period of time with just dust, not desert sand (usually)! It is worse if one of the volcanoes is erupting and we get the gray to black volcano soot like I’ve had a few times from Volcán Turrialba. 🙂
Thus when another WordPress Blogger posted this Poem by Danusha Lameris, I saved it to share right now during our “mini-harmattan” or windy weather or dusty season, none of which are titles Costa Rica brags about for our “Dry Season” (most popular tourist time). And incidentally, this years winds seem to be stronger and at night much cooler than the previous 6 Dry Seasons for me here. Now North Americans wouldn’t consider the low 60’s Fahrenheit cold, but that’s a “two-blanket night” here! 🙂
Yeah! I know, it seems that I like every tree! And maybe I do, but this one by the cow pasture in front of my house is special I think because of its shape. Though that one little tree to its left sort of takes away from the shape 🙂 it’s still a neat tree!
The Featured Photo above is the broad look from the cow pasture with that tiny sliver of roof on the far left edge of photo being my house on the hill. The tree is the one in center of above photo to the left of the 3 big houses. And below is a closer view.
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”