Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pensive and Pevensie

I am Susan Pevensie standing before the gateway which will lead me back to the land I have come from and the life I live there. My dark hair is tied up in a bun and the free bits about my face dance with the wind, along with the leaves of the bamboo salsa-ing before me.  

Like Susan, I too will be markedly changed by the life I have lived in this world. I am leaving and I am not afraid. Going home is going home. Soon I will be returning to familiar people in familiar places knowing that I will not return to these people in this place, ever. I will never experience life in the same way again, and I will never be the same again. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am acutely aware that I will slot straight back into my old life. Maybe I will grow up and forget all about Narnia. But I don’t think I will forget, not really. I have been changed and transformed and my month in Costa Rica will forever be a part of me. I am a fuller person for being here, for eating beans and rice, for playing football with my bad ankles, and for celebrating the way our God dwells among us through the diversity of all our cultures.

E te whanau, ka kite ano.
Brothers and sisters, see you soon (in the eschatological sense).

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Te Maunga

Irazu is the highest volcano in Costa Rica. She sits over Cartago, the countries former capital, and San Jose, the current capital. On Wednesday we went to the top of Irazu. We left at 6:30am so as to make it to the peak before the clouds came in. Apparently, on a clear day you can see from coast to coast; from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Oh how I long for the Pacific Ocean!

When we reached the top we were greeted by the cloud cover and a cool breeze. Our guides apologised for the bad weather, but I didn’t mind. Clouds and fog and mist are a part of the mountain top experience, it’s what happens up there where the winds meet.

On the mount of Irazu there were rocks and rain and craters and creation. There was life up there amongst the black sand and the stone; there was vegetation and a view – even if we couldn’t see it. There were times when we could hardly see each other when we descended into the fog. 

We came down from the mountain with shining faces from the wet and the rain, a mountain top experience to be sure. I was reminded of Moses, when he met with God on Mount Sinai.

Yesterday we went to a rainforest. It was warmer down there on the valley floor, with the mosquitoes and the wild life. We ate chocolate and called out to monkeys and took selfies on the suspension bridge.

Mountains and valleys, we find beauty in both. 

I life my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)