There is something inherently peaceful about a cloudy, cool day on the beach. Yesterday was one of those rare Puerto Rican days in which no patches of bright blue sky poked out all day long. Rain was intermittent, but mostly the clouds just hovered in the sky, a breeze made it almost chilly, and Jenni and Kelsey and I sat on the beach without sweating or putting on sun screen. It was peaceful. It was relaxing. It was a good day.
At about 3pm, it started to rain just as Robert and Sonja pulled up. We headed off together to get pinchos and alcapurrias (ground beef surrounded with plantain and fried). On the way, we took a back road through the countryside. All three of us in Jenni’s car were in giddy, excited moods and totally, totally soaking up how beautiful the world around us is. To some, the view might have been just a scrubby field with a few skinny cows. To us, though, it’s part of our sliver of paradise. And it’s gorgeous.
As the year draws to a close, we spend a lot of time talking about what we’ve left to do and see this year, and in making plans, “next year” comes up a lot. The people I spend the most time with are the five US teachers who will be returning to Guayama next year. Consequently, they inevitably mention a plan for an adventure next year, then look to me with a little apology. I don’t mind. It will be interesting, though, to see what next year and Guatemala will bring. I told Jenni yesterday when we were talking about it, and it’s true. I can see myself liking Guatemala as much as I love it here…but I’m not sure it’s possible to like anything more.
I didn’t really expect to fall in love with this island the way I have. But I’m completely enamored.
I have 44 days left in Puerto Rico. There are so many things I want to see and do one more time, or for the first time.
44 days to sit in peace on the beach, to drive through the mountains, to soak up the sunshine. 44 days to savor time with my students (who I will really really miss next year). 44 days to eat pinchos and mofongo and tostones. 44 days.
“Smile on the past, savor the present, and always look forward to the next step.”
And I do.