Simple Pleasures

There is a frog lightly hopping and then pausing along the edge of the veranda.  It is night, so it is barely illuminated in the glow from the light.  A gecko leaps from the wall and scurries off.  Maybe I scared it?  Although, it is our nightly ritual to hang out together—me working, it doing whatever it does…hanging there sideways on the wall.

 

I am living at the end of a very rutted and pocked dirt road.  My daily ritual has me ride down it on bicycle into town at least twice a day…once for the sea, to go swimming, another for shopping for fresh produce or to go out dancing.  Every so often along the way there is a speed bump made from two very thick braided ropes lain side by side.  The road is so bumpy, it makes me laugh to think they need the speed bumps, but I guess they feel they do.   Between the ruts and the ropes, it is one heck of a ride by bicycle, back and forth each day.  And yet, I have grown to love the ritual.  The dogs that one day come up to me smiling and begging for a pet and a pat, the next day, barking away as if they have never seen me before (I think the heat addles their poor little brains.)  I smile and wave at the workers tearing down an old bar that burnt down, and the others, putting in a new dock, while yet others are painting the veranda of a new friend of mine.  Sometimes, I stop to chat about the weather (how incredibly hot it has been) or to joke about how bad they are making the road with all their construction (as if what they are doing has hardly any impact on the road that is so bad to begin with.)  They laugh and smile with a glint in their eye.  We enjoy that we share this ritual together.

 

It is such a different world here than the crazy hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay Area that I left before coming here.  The city life sucks me dry and drains my life force until I feel I am nothing but a ghost.  Here, in a town of approximately 1,800 people, I feel filled up and renewed each day.  In the city where so many people “know” me, but I do not know them.  Here, where more and more people really know me without even for what I am known for.  Here I am the girl who loves to dance, says hello with a smile to everyone, chats with the locals about their lives, their loves, their loves lost, their latest conquest of some foreigner.  Here, I am the girl who shops like religion at David Perez’s fruit and vegetable stand and the produce truck that comes into town every few days.  The girl who buys the hand-made tortillas once a week and hopes and prays for the days the avocados and tangerines come to town.  Here, I am the girl who was casually invited to come to the “celebration” of an elder’s passing—everyone brings food and drinks and dances all night before the burial.  I did not go because I did not know how to go to a funeral for a man I did not know.  I offended the local friend who invited until I helped him understand that where I come from, a person would never go to the funeral of a person they didn’t know unless they were actually with someone who was a friend or relative.  He replied, “It’s OK Mon (pronounced like a soft “man”), but here it is different.  Here, once you are invited, you are family.”

 

I love it here.  I love that I am already becoming part of this dysfunctional, wild, belligerent, beautiful, funny family of this place in Belize.  I love that even though everyone has some kind of agenda, most are willing to let go of it after they realize it is not going to get them anywhere with me, but that I still want to be their friend.  I love the ritual of swimming, produce shopping, working (via internet), cooking, dancing, chatting, and laughing.  I love how easy it is to laugh here.  It is often childlike here.  They will get upset, territorial, and even manipulative.  But rarely is it in malice, and even more rarely do they hold a grudge.  Life is too sweet for that.  And, usually, it is nothing that buying someone a beer won’t cure.

 

There are some people here I am wary of.  There are those from outside the area who are thieves, who have no problem stealing from you even after they know you.  There are locals who will see how much they can get over on you and get away with. There are jellyfish in the water, and mosquitoes, sand flies, and ants that have eaten me alive and made me look like a war-zone.  There are small-town politics the same as just about anywhere (only worse here, because at least half the town is related.)  There is dust and unbelievable heat some days that makes you sweat to even think about moving.  And time… well that is a whole other story unto itself.  Time here, takes its own time.  And still, I love it.  I have found home.  What a beautiful feeling it is.  It has been a very, very long time coming.  And I am so very grateful to have found it.

 

Love and Simple Pleasures,

 

julia

 

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Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm  Comments (22)  

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am so happy for you. Home is so important and I am glad you’ve found it.

  2. i am that willy enchanted Gecko transmitting through every fiber of my being luminious love letters of light upon every step of your sacred beauty walk.
    Julia, it would mean the world to me if you would join me in the dance, come dance with me today 3pm PST? with one of our most beloved elders,poet,author,visionary lover /activist,Alice Walker live on The Sacred Awakening Series.WWW.TheSacredAwakeningSeries.com? or (google it)

  3. Sounds like an awesome place to be. May your spirit heal in this healing place.

  4. I feel you gave me a little of the pleasure you’ve found, just from reading your post. Thank you.

  5. Thank you. This post really resonates with me.

  6. =)julia sorry to hear u weren’t comfortable enough yet to attend the party for? am pleased u r able to share your rituals/thoughts so easily, probably why so many of us quickly accept u as u. your spirit is strong and service comes natural 2u (= , know our thoughts r w/ u…. the geckos are out in gulf breeze too, mom’s puppies are being born, as spring is greening the grass much time used getting ready for the heat of summer, pools, and garden (trying to include some veggies …) while sufferring the 50 degree weather that i’m learning to call cold and hoping i’ll soon learn to thaw from being up north 45 yrs of my life gave away my heavy layers to a friend traveling back up there. I am planning to return someday 2 settle my affairs/property… why did i think u were living “on the road” and with a team in place etc.? course i’m never alone so presumed nobody else is, thx for the happy thoughts … barney

  7. ps while reserching your veggie stand (dp yale hmm selling veggies) over at huffingtons post was surprised to read “your an extremist freak” from eva ensler ?poem/blog now don’t be…=) i think she means this as a compliment… 8 march posting hope u get the same giggle i did its extreme to want others to care? lmao, off to volunteer …pss any of your friends on the west coast? effected by japanese earthquake?

  8. Sounds a lot like Jamaica!!

  9. You’re in my thoughts. I hope the tsunami does not reach you or your new friends and home.

  10. Thanks Everyone. Lisa, Belize is in the Caribbean, not the Pacific, so where i am is fine. Where i used to live in the SF Bay Area got hit and some damage to some friend’s boats, but everyone is fine there. Sadly, Japan is another story. We send our prayers to those affected.

    Love,
    julia

  11. Julia, thank you for taking me on a nice journey, I felt I was right there. It reminded me of a couple of yoga retreats in Costa Rica even though the context was different: daily ritual to walk the mile long dirt road at the crack of dawn to get to the pacific ocean with its huge thundering waves, the dust, the dogs barking, the workers; yoga classes in the nature with the sound of exotic birds and insects; biking to explore the area. The heat (thet I loved). The family owning the retreat who became my family. I wish I could have stayed longer to get to know the locals the way you have. I could have made it my home. Probably not in this lifetime, destiny sent me to a cold country and gave me the responsibility of a family. I miss so much the life you’ve found!
    So happy to hear that you have found home. It was scary to read your dark blog last month, you are such an inspiration, I feel better knowing you feel better.

  12. I’m glad you’re fine. I wasn’t sure just how large that area in between the Pacific and Caribbean was. Yes, our prayers go out for everyone, as well. We have some family in Tokyo but they are fine.

  13. Love hearing about your life in Belize.

  14. … thanks for writing these chapters and let us know of Julia …
    …livre…

  15. VERY Pertinent A-Z Education About Holistic Radiation Protection By David Wolfe.PleaZe, Dear Ones Listen,INTEGRATE And PASS IT ON….
    http://tinyurl.com/4jeqwsh

  16. WOW,Dude this Could Be VERY VITAL INFO for someone who lives in or will be traveling to in the near future to among other places; SF Bay Are,LosAngelos and Canada.Especially for those in the community with a histoy of serious environmental chemical sensitivities and folks who are in the holy process of healing of any kind of compromised immunity issue.
    Dude, i so resonate with the intion of this Very Important Sharing:Not to get invovled in fear mongering but just be careful and help pack the decks in the highest favor of ourselves and those we love.

  17. Sweet Julia,
    It is lovely to read your words an envision you among the sand and the surf and the tropical flora, I am so happy to hear that you have found a home that you feel at home in! I send you much love and blessings and look forward to a time when we all are able to feel such richness and contentment in our environment…
    peace,
    Raybo

  18. i’m fine tuning curriculm and gearing up to offer 7 wk. Radical Preparedness Class Series On The A-Z Of Surthriving Nuclear,Coal and GMO Free in Hawaii.Dear Community,Do You Have A Holistic Intellegent LifeStrategy In Place To Try And Protect Yourself ,Those You Love And Your Community From The Dangerous,Toxic Effects Of Nuclear Fallout From The Dai-chi Plant In Japan(Or Goddess Forbid, Some Other Nuclear Plant Explosion)?
    Would You Believe Me If I Told You That It’s Easy/Possible To Make One Years Supply Of Your Own HomeGrown, Certified Organic, Super Immunity Radiation Protection Tonic Elixer Tincture With Four Of The Strongest Anti Radiation Tonic Herbs/Medicinal Mushrooms From Around The World: Ashwangandha,Reishi,Chaga and American Pantax Ginseng. For Yourself And Ten People In Your Community For Only $300
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  19. Dear Julia,

    It’s Mark, the one who bestows ecstasy and tried to befriend you your second year in Luna. Please write to me.

    Mark

  20. Hi Mark,

    All kinds of people tried to befriend me while i was in Luna and since.

    This blog, my website, and my public FB page (under Julia Butterfly Hill) are the ways i have of being in contact with the myriad folks who want to be in contact with me.

    Blessings,

    julia

  21. OK. Well, thanks for responding.

  22. That is so cool that you found a place in which to live and call home. Far-out! I kind of feel like that where I live though my ‘home’ is Humboldt yet I don’t live there. But I am happy for you!! 🙂


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