Pura vida

I just returned this week from a week in Costs Rica. It is the dry season there, so not much is blooming, although of course things are evergreen. But the best thing I learned while I was there is their philosophy pura vida, which means “pure life.” we all have to work, pay bills, deal with annoying and tiring things in life. But they look for the positive in everything, and try not to get bogged down in anything.

This is not new information, of course. But perhaps I am feeling the way I did as a teenager, when I wouldn’t listen to what my parents said, but if my friends told me the same thing, I would take their advice as gospel. There is a huge industry in the US devoted to self-help and the marketing thereof, but everyone is encouraged to find their own path. A thousand people have written books, blogs, or podcasts devoted to telling us how to slow down, to live in the moment. A sizeable industry exists to help us de-stress. But all these people hope to profit off sharing their wisdom. When a country full of people adopts the same life philosophy, it seems rather more persuasive. Especially when their lives are, on the whole, rather poorer than ours (at least in an economic/material sense).

I came home to find my garden full of pura vida. Because of our remarkably warm winter, everything is blooming at least two weeks ahead of normal schedule. My daffodils are in full force; my crocuses are finished. My azaleas and flowering quince are going strong. Pulmonaria, euphorbia, grape hyacinth are looking good. The Deutzia for whose life I feared is leafing out.

Baptisias are starting to push forth,

and my Camellia japonicas are blooming. Everything is looking invigorated.

Hope you find your own pura vida.


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