Kaity Kasper

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The Magic Of Salt Water

“Thank you for bringing me here.”

This is my new prayer, plucked from the pages of the Rolf Gates book that makes up part of my teetering stack of daily readers. 

Wandering through the neighborhood tonight with Hope, I found myself uttering it on repeat – the unseasonably warm evening giving us an excuse to walk a little slower than we have in recent weeks.  As we meandered, my face cracked open in joy and my heart swelled and for the first time in a several weeks the sheer sensation of cool air flooding my lungs was enough to tempt me to dance in the street.

*   *   *

I am back from Costa Rica.  As per usual, it will take some time for me to tell the tale.  Each of these trips brings with it its own particular brand of healing – its own particular set of surprises – its own particular need to process, to consider, to bask in the light before I can even begin to put words to what happened.

But if you required that I give you a brief synopsis of what this Costa Rica adventure brought with it I would provide you with one word – cleansing.

*   *   *

There is a saying out there that the cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.  In Costa Rica, I got a hefty dose of each. 

Boarding my plane south, I was marinating in a bit of a depression.  I’ve shared here that 2017 did not start out the way I had hoped, and I was holding out that maybe the Chinese New Year would do the trick instead.  But even as that new year turned its very first page, I was feeling heavy and blocked.  I wasn’t sure if I had any healing in me.

Turns out, Costa Rica didn’t really need me to do much of anything in order for it to work its magic.  It took care of all of that on its own.  All I had to do was touch down. 

*   *   *

Of all the subjects in school, geography was probably my least favorite.  So I’ll admit upfront that I had no idea where to locate Costa Rica on a map until we had been there for about four days.  This means I was unaware of its proximity to the equator. 

I had such little idea of its proximity to the equator that I packed two flannel shirts, a sweater, and two long-sleeved tees just in case.  Because I figured it was bound to get pretty cold there at night.

I did not – in reality – get cold there at all.

Between the heat, the humidity, and my hot flashes, I sweated nearly 24/7 for eight days straight.  I am positive I sweated out a good bit of the chemo residue that was still residing in my body.  Honestly, I probably sweated out some of the toxins still residing in my body from the last fast food I ate several years ago.  It was a lot of sweat.  Didn’t see that one coming.

It healed me.

*   *   *

Getting to the beach was no easy endeavor.  It required a 10-minute hike over some pretty rough terrain – over roots and rocks, down stairs that might have been constructed by the same people who constructed the pyramids.  We wore hiking boots with our bikinis to navigate the terrain and then stripped it all off to run across the sand and plunge into the water.

The water in Costa Rica’s ocean is unlike anything I have experienced before.  Saltier.  It felt as if it was seeping into every inch of my body to draw the unnecessary out.  My skin was dry and my hair forming dreadlocks and I felt like I wanted to bathe in that water forever.

It healed me.

*   *   *

“I can’t cry.” I told her as we prepared to do some energy work.  This was true, but unlike me.  I’m a crier.  I think it’s a trait I picked up from my mother.  I cry in church all the time.  I cry at movies.  I cry in the shower.  Not necessarily because I am sad.  I cry because I am happy, overwhelmed, angry, confused. 

But in recent weeks, unless I was in the company of my best friend, I just couldn’t cry.

About twenty-four hours after our session together, I found myself sobbing in the arms of two my sisters as the sun set behind us on the beach.  I skipped dinner that night, texting from the bathroom floor through sobs to one of my sweet sisters back home, trying to make sense of everything that was suddenly flooding up and out of my heart.  They continued through the next morning as I snuck away from our asana practice to the couches overlooking the ocean.  I cried more in twenty-four hours than I had in the month preceding.

It healed me.

*   *   *

Our last morning in Costa Rica, as I sat amid more shades of green that I knew God had made and monkeys and butterflies and my six sisters, I felt exhausted.  Exhausted in the best possible way.  I knew that despite all the things I had packed up in the hours before and the weight of my suitcase from the shells it now contained, there was a whole lot more I was leaving behind.

While a lot of other healing happened in the middle of that rain forest, it was the salt water that cleansed my soul.  It was the salt water that redelivered me to this space of openness.  It was the salt water that I needed more than I could have ever understood before arriving in that land.

Thank you for bringing me there.