After our family attended the Monday night group meeting in Santo Domingo, we stayed overnight and then drove about 90 minutes outside of the city to an area called Bayahibe, known as a quaint fishing village with some of the best beaches in the country. We decided to stay in another “all inclusive” hotel. I’d never stayed in that type of hotel in my life until our first one here a few weeks back. It’s also a low season time, so I have to say the prices are incredibly reasonable, coming from an American viewpoint where I could never afford to stay at a place like this if it was in Hawaii, for example.
What can I say? The ocean..the beach..that’s our thing really, more than the cute entertainment pieces the management adds in for people looking for more party type fun. Our family has enjoyed a relaxed routine here the past couple days: We get up at dawn, because that’s what Sofia and Michelle do. We walk over to the restaurant and fuel the girls and us with fresh pineapple and melons, eggs and black beans, I found a freshly juiced cucumber and carrot juice bar (a bit hidden by the more popular foods, but good for them, there it was!), and the girls were thrilled to eat next to little sparrows that hop on the chairs begging for food. (not my thing, but hey, it kept the girls occupied long enough to eat!)
Then Hubby took them to the beach and pool for a couple of hours so that I could work on La’akea Corp DBA Eco-Retreats DR!!!! Hubby asked me about it last night, saying, “So when you’re sitting there doing that research, writing, trying to get something started from scratch..what’s it like for you? Is it really hard? Are you having fun?”
I’m having fun! I really love the process. I’ve been researching other companies that host collections of eco-conscious resorts in places such as Bali and the East, reading more about permaculture, threatened rainforest land and such. I’ve got a personal 15 year history of participating in various retreats and holistic rejuvenation experiences, ranging from fasting in a hut for ten days doing Hatha yoga and hiking, to juicing in a spa that offers breathwork and colonics to assist one’s cleansing process and transformation. It’s all fascinating to me, and also a personal journey of learning to deeply appreciate what one can gain from an experience that focuses on your mind/body/emotion/spiritual health. I know I’m healthier now because of the holistic path I’ve taken. I also know that the environment one is in during a sacred experience, be it a yoga or silent meditation retreat, is vitally important to the process. Quiet, natural beauty, compassionate staff — all of these deeply matter.
So anyway, I told Hubby, “It’s perfect for me…I feel like I’ve got all these puzzle pieces, from my life and learning, and now I’m putting things all together to create a shape…a way to share what I’ve been so lucky to experience. All these pieces from so many different places are coming into place and it’s exciting for me to play with it all, put them all together…and then the gift of having the farm to be able to offer for retreats..and actually, Dominican Republic as a place that seems to be on the cusp of being newly discovered by a lot of people..so much fun to play with!”
So for a couple hours in the morning while they are at the beach, this present puzzle piece is about creating content for my new company website. The website is “under construction, ” soon to be unveiled and likely to have many refinements…but it’s in progress! I’m also pretty sure that right in this area we are sitting right now, this gorgeous palm strewn, powdery white sand beach with clear, salted waters, there is an interesting green-conscious place that will want to collaborate with me on retreat concepts. Fun!
The rest of the day is for our family, together..back to the ocean..we play like a family of seals, bobbing around and taking turns with games like “Up to the sky!…Again!… Again!…” (One grown up throws a child up into the air as many times as possible) “Fingers..Heart, I made a heart, for you, Mommy” (drawings in the sand by the sea, that are erased within seconds, by the soft lap of a wave). Hubby graciously does a few rounds of “ring around the rosy” with us singing girls, twirling in the sea.
I swam over to Hubby for a minute, in between the games with the girls, and looked deeply into his eyes. “Remember? Remember how it was just us for so long, the two of swimming together, playing?” (We have a long history of liking to find water to swim in, over the 13 years we’ve been together, most of which we were a couple without children) “I do,” he said, knowing what I meant, now that we are surrounded by our incredible daughters, bouncing and playing and shouting and singing. We had a beautiful time as a couple – often, we thought we wouldn’t have children and that would be fine. Everything is different now. It’s not that “before” was less than, since we knew nothing about having children. It’s just that now, with our daughters, everything is exponentially expanded with delight and love and responsibility. It’s full of compromise, giving, and growing more capable of loving in a big way, each day.
So this place, this last couple of days, has been delightful. The mix of moving forward on my business plan, and playing in the ocean with our family..seeing Hubby so relaxed and available to be with our girls, watching Sofia make friends with anyone who swims or walks near her. Laughing as Michelle spontaneously stands up and performs a made up song and dance last night at the one semi-fancy restaurant we risked going to (everyone nearby was gracious about our outbursts of drama when the right cup wasn’t within reach, or the purple crayon they brought wasn’t perfectly pointed to Michelle’s satisfaction. Everyone enjoyed Michelle’s dance and song performance in the middle of the restaurant.)
It’s good. This land is good. This country is beauty-filled, from the magical rainforest we return to today, to the beach edges that meet the aqua clear seas. Hubby said yesterday, in one of his contemplative moments, “Fundamentally, people really just wish to be happy….” and I knew he thought this, because he is.
Oh, by the way, I might start calling Hubby by his real name…when I started my blog, he absolutely understood that it’s something I want to do, but he is ONE of The Most Private People I have ever met..so it’s excruciating for him to be included in my very public discussion of our lives. I called him Hubby, in an effort to protect his privacy a little bit, and also try not to speak for him too often (I do my best…). But he seems okay with my using his name..Marin is my husband. He’s a good man. He’s grown into the best man I’ve ever met. We’ve grown up together a lot, learning from each other as we go along. So I thought I’d more formally introduce him to you, just for you to know. Marin.
Good bye for now, from this sweet, soft, lovely beach. You know I’ll be back soon…to you…and to everyone, wishing peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness…everyone…