Okay, I just sent the above post, and I have about 20 minutes to finish. …
So we’d been greeted by Angel Fernando who drove us in his truck across town to our friends’ house where the truck that we bought was waiting for us. As I mentioned, our plane was late, so we were running out of time to get to the farm. Jose (see http://www.gurdjieffdominican.com to read more about Jose Reyes and the group we are connecting with) had strongly advised us to get to the farm before dark. I wasn’t sure exactly why, and still not, but there are likely many, many reasons.
His daughter was leading us to the farm in her truck, and said, “We can stop quickly at a store since it’s now Friday night rush out of town traffic, and then get to the farm before dark. Also, Felipe called (he is the local farm caretaker) and he said the river is rising so we should hurry.”
(Did I mention you cross a river to get to the farm, and that is why we bought a truck? Did I mention this is quite remote?)
Low Point: Realizing after our store stop, and the continued traffic, that we were most likely NOT going to make it to the farm before dark. Driving up into the hills on the freeway, watching how a lot of people drive here: Insanely? A van with about 12 people hanging out of it, and two men clutching and clinging onto the outside of its back. A motorcycle with four people stacked onto it like dominoes. Trucks veering into our lane with no warning.
High Point: Out of nowhere, Michelle, who has not been to DR since January when she was 18 months old, spontaneously starts singing songs that we have sung at the farm. Songs in a different language, songs that we don’t usually sing at home. All together, we sang the songs she remembered: (something like):” Lay-ah-lay, all-ah, lay-lay-ay-ai, lay lay-ah-layyyyyy..,” like a homecoming chant.
Low Point continued: Getting to the closest town, and the last 25 minutes of the drive: Largely dirt road, heavily potted with deep holes and rocks and various objects. It is dark. The rain, lightning and thunder storm begins. Our caravan of two trucks is briefly lost, missing the turn at the cemetery that leads to the river that leads to the farm. Michelle is upset. Sofia is asking a lot of questions.
High Point: The river had not risen too far! Our truck, in heavy 4 wheel drive, makes it easily across the river and up the steep hill to the farm! We made it!
Low Point: (Preface this with: I have an unfortunate phobia, for a rainforest dweller. From my childhood in Hawaii, I took on my Mother’s fear of large cockroaches.) Running through the rain to open the front door of our new casa, the first thing that runs across the entrance is a Mama size cockroach. Shit! One of our Angel friends who had driven with Jose’s daughter, did the kindest thing I can think of: He smashed it for me with his shoe, once he saw my reaction, and got rid of the body. The daughter kindly said, “You’re going to have to get used to that.” She is so right. It’s time to let go of a lot of unnecessary baggage.
Aside from the live cockroach and several dead ones, the casa is lovely. Our friends had done so much to prepare it for us, they had painted the girls’ beds, put up a mirror and shower curtain in the bathroom, just added so much love and a sense of being welcomed home.
Memorable Moment: Hubby, Sofia, Michelle, and I are finally going to bed. There are huge cracks of lightning and thundering bangs from the sky, Michelle is inconsolable, upset looking around at all of the newness, clutching her green monkey, Sofia is asking lots of good questions that I have no answer to at this point, and I just hope they go to sleep soon. We are all laying there, and I find Hubby’s hand in the dark, across from Michelle’s sweaty knee and the soft foot of green monkey. “It is kind of hard arriving here at night,”, I whisper to Hubby. But we agree, we are here.
Short snapshots since I must go:
Saturday – kind of a confusing blur…more hurried shopping…girls kind of excited, confused, tired, hyper… God how I wish Lisa my organizer could be here on this end – NO idea where certain things are in our luggage like toys, the juice I let myself get frisked for, extra diapers…My anxiety is up. It tends to rise in new situations where I don’t know what I’m doing, and I feel like this related to many things. Our two Angel friends that had led us here, must go back to the city. I kind of cling to Erika for a moment as she says good-bye, as she reassures me we can call her for anything.
Jose had suggested it might be better to arrive when he and his wife were not away for the first three weeks of our arrival. We agreed that made the most sense, but various pieces of our lives back in Boston were pushing us to come early (end of lease time, for example). He was right, of course. But here we are, and it’s my job to feel my feet on the floor and just go moment by moment, through the day and whatever it brings.
High Point: Sunday: There is so much to DO – unpacking, finding things, taking care of the girls, figuring out how to turn on the stove, finding out that we do have hot water in the shower but not right now in the sink, how to separate the trash (compost, chickens, burn trash, city refuse trash), remember NOT to put toilet paper in the toilet!…What was perfect, is letting it go. The four of us made our way down the hand-created stone stairs, winding down into the womb of the rainforest, to the river that flows below the farm, below our window at night, whispering and purring along, to the tune of the world around it. Sofia and Hubby found a deep hole and practiced her swimming. Michelle wanted nothing to do with the water, clung to me on a rock. But toe by toe, then finger, then a little sprinkle on her knee, then dig elbow deep and find a treasure of a stone to toss into the water…bit by bit, before you know it, Michelle was in my arms in the river, kicking her legs and paddling her pudgy arms in imitation of Sofia, laughing and splashing and loving the river. I realized that in our everyday life, we’ve been so busy that I haven’t found the right place to take Michelle (the East coast ocean is too cold for her to enjoy) to practice loving the water, which Hubby, Sofia and I love. The four of us played and bounced and swam and swished together for a long time. When we got back to the casa, of course there had been no magical Lisa the Organizer who had put everything away. But it’s okay. We are on Farm time now. Dominican time. Take it easy, and it will all unfold in time.
Memorable Important note to Self: Last night going to bed, I was many degrees calmer than the first night. Michelle was too: She casually held green monkey instead of desperately clinging. Sofia had no questions, she was happy to just listen to our prayer and song and the sound of the river. I see this as a tremendous uphill climb. Yes, I’m going to freak out at certain parts, when I can’t find my way. Yet it’s a process of learning externally and internally, what do we bear in this moment? What do we need to do, in the most simple way? Being here for the journey is of course a fundamental part of the climb. And knowing that we learn as we go, slowly ascending. I bring my freaking out with me, yet with each step, I’m letting it go, letting it go. Letting the pace of the farm and the river and the people help slow my own steps. To all, a huge hug out there, may we all find and spread, peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness. To everyone. xoxo