It is still raining. Nonstop and steady. Alex wisely left for his gig with Ugg (find him painting boots at your local mall if you’re lucky) leaving me to contemplate the rain in solitude (with dogs). It rained at least 11 inches in the last 24 hours. I know this because the truck bed was 3/4 full of water when I finally ventured out around dusk yesterday. The great Pacific is shrouded in mist. I haven’t seen the Osa Peninsula in days.
As we hunker down for the Costa Rican “winter” … I never noticed how very similar this word invierno, winter, is to infierno, hell. Is this more than coincidence? … three keys to holding on to your sanity in the rain (or snow sleet hail):
- light candles … unless you can light an actual bonfire in your home, this is the next best thing. On an energetic level, having fire in your home warms and balances the damp cold outside
- share meals, board games, trade massages with friends… venturing out is worth it to feel cozy with company. This one has been such a lifesaver (… thank you Katja, Leon, and Seany)
- practice pranayama… especially alternate nostril or anuloma viloma pranayama. When the weather turns gray there is a natural tendency to slow down and be still. Periods like this foster an introspection that is ideal for cultivating a pranayama practice. I particularly enjoy alternate nostril breathing while taking a bath… the tub holds the arms effortlessly in place and the heat of the water naturally creates a slowing of the vrittis, the thought patterns of the mind. I started doing this in chilly Canada (what Canadians call “spring” is colder than winter to a girl from the tropics) and bath-time pranayama is now a regular part of my practice.
The rainy season is to me like a personal test that comes along cyclically and shows me, not only the aspects of myself that are calling for attention, but also the many ways in which I’ve grown and evolved since the last season. It reminds me of that quote from Suzuki Roshi who said, “You are perfect just the way you are. And there is always room for improvement.”