Tico Time Zone – Bus Stop of Life- NOV 05, 2017
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This month’s subject was going to be a few bus tales about all my adventures traveling back and forth from San José. I was still pondering the best ones, only to get lucky and stumble upon a new tale one day while waiting for a bus back to Matapalo. I was listening to Klove radio, singing and smiling at all the passersby. That’s when a lovely older women walked up, smiled and sat down to wait for the next bus. I smiled back with a “Buenos días” to boot. Thinking that was that, I noticed she was asking me a question, so I removed my headphones. She asked when the next bus was coming and our chat was off and running.
What a blessing to meet Isabella! Struck by her lovely disposition and Tica smile, I asked where she was heading. She was going to see family in Liberia after visiting her niece in Tamarindo. She had traveled from southern Costa Rica and was enjoying her trip. Now this is a woman of 85 all alone at the bus stop…. I know, I know. I didn’t ask; she offered up the information willingly.
Our chat continued, and when the subject turned to myself, I told Isabella I was now a lifer with a Tica daughter. So then she told me about her childhood. It was amazing to see the twinkle in her eye as she became 12 years old again, relating stories about how she grew up in the old school days.
Isabella continued on about her children, grandchildren, and finally about how she was now a widow but blessed to have had a great life and children who love her. I just sat and listened and saw her beam with the love of a life well lived. It made me proud to have made and be making a life for myself here.
Eventually, the bus came and we wished each other pura vida as we parted ways. As I waved goodbye, I experienced a truly enlightening moment. I saw life through another’s Tico eyes without an opinion — only listening, enjoying and loving the life God has given me.
As I put my headphones back on and switched to my playlist, the selection was Kenny Chesney´s timeless song “Don’t Blink.” It’s all about enjoying the moment and being present to others around you. Then the next song came on and truly summed up the moment — Sir Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Singing softly to myself and thinking of all the precious moments past and future with my daughter, an iconic line from the movie “Almost Famous” came to mind. When the young teen journalist on the tour bus tells Penny Lane, “I need to go home,” she replies, “You are home.”
I´ve been in Costa Rica 25 years and that sentiment resonates through my being. Living here and knowing these great people and our relationships has been a blessing.
One thing is for sure, we are only at the bus stop of life for a short time. And it’s our attitude and how we treat each other that ultimately defines who we are. It affects other human lives around us now, and will transcend countless generations. ¡Pura vida y viva Costa Rica!