Blog  A Moment of Giving, Not Taking, in Costa Rica

A Moment of Giving, Not Taking, in Costa Rica

by Rachel “Honey” Freeman
Participant, Mitzvah Corps Costa Rica 2013

July 24, 2013

Hola from Yorkín!

Today I had one of my favorite experiences on the trip so far. We all spread out and sat quietly. We were supposed to observe using all of our senses. I made myself comfortable on the thick outstretched roots of a large tree and closed my eyes. It became quiet – the kind of silence you can only experience an hour’s boat ride away from civilization.

I sank deeper into the roots beneath me and heard the faint sound of water moving.
Wind blown by leaves.
Bugs flying.
These little individual melodies turned into a single lullaby. I felt my body relax even more; I surrendered to the land around me.

And then came the thoughts:
The thankful thoughts.
They swallowed my other ideas; they drowned out my worries.

I was grateful.

Grateful to be sitting here.
Grateful to inhale this sweet, fresh air.
Grateful to be in a place that is untouched by pollution.

I started to thank my environment – mental recognition of the purpose the trees and grass and water serve for me.

Then I realized – if this tree didn’t hold me, I couldn’t sit to experience this. If the ground we walk on rejected our feet, we could not travel. These things around us give so much and all we do is take.

My purpose, especially on this trip, is to thank the land by giving back by helping with tikkun olam (repairing the world).
     Whether in Costa Rica or in my home town, communities need help.
     The land needs help.
     And it is up to me to do it.
This moment is a great place to start. 
I can’t wait to put these thoughts into action as we continue to help the Costa Rican community.
Muddy Trails, Rice & Beans, and Hard Work,
– “Honey”