“The House of the Dreamer,” the sign said in Spanish, hanging down from a plant-covered tree. I hadn’t even gone inside the crazy little structure, but I was already awestruck by it–really, what it embodied: bold, whimsical, lovely creativity. Art for art’s sake.
A scrappy little dog came out to greet us as we stepped out of the green SUV, two rubias come to admire the “galeria de arte”, as another hand-carved sign called it. Some might have called it humble, but I was made speechless by the place. Stepping inside a room lit by scattered rays of light from the sun outside, we gazed at rows upon rows of hand-carved campesinos and Christ-like faces made from coffeewood. I had difficulty picking out the carving I liked best, but finally found one I prized above the others to give as a gift to my dad, who is probably responsible for my love of Spanish and Latin America (as his job took us to Panama for three years until 1999).
Today I was attempting to upload some photos to York where I can usually get some good deals for digital photo printing, but I am computer-skills-challenged and was having issues with the whole thing. So I started clicking through photos from years past instead of uploading more recent ones. Specifically, photos from 2009, when I spent a month in Costa Rica. This was pre-marriage, pre-baby Aim days. I volunteered at a missionary language training school working with the little ones of missionaries or being a teacher’s aide while living with a few teachers and hanging out with some others. I can’t say that I was totally immersed in the whole awesome experience, because there was this sweet, cute boyfriend waiting at home for me that kept distracting me…Looking back at the photos, though, I relived it all with a greater appreciation. The photos represent a time when I was just living to enjoy it all –my love for the Spanish language, for Latin America, nature, and adventure. I am so thankful I was able to bring back vivid images, as my mind had failed me and I had already forgotten the beauty and wonder of that month.
Tonight, as I sit here typing instead of going to bed at a decent hour like a smart, sleep-deprived mommy ought to, I consider what life was like before a family. Was it more exciting? Was it full of more opportunities? Would I be happier traveling the world again without a care?
No. That was then, and it was great while it lasted. But this is my life now. And I LOVE watching my 8 month-old discovering new things. THAT is exciting. What better opportunity do I have to make an impact than in the life of my child? Traveling “without a care” would really mean that I wouldn’t have a chubby, cuddly baby wanting me to hold his hands while he eagerly learns to walk, or a devoted husband to hug whenever I felt like it. So when I start thinking about how someone I know gets to go on a trip to somewhere exotic, I don’t feel sorry for myself (even if I DO still get up way early in the morning to feed the kiddo). I feel blessed I’ve got some great memories to travel to any time I want (and it doesn’t cost me a cent!)