Finding the Simple Pleasures

We’re not a big TV family.  At home, we “cut the cord” for cable over a year ago. Even so, via Netflix or Hulu, Camille typically watched a 22 minute show before school, something inspiring like the mindless fun of Finn and Jake on Adventure Time. Later, we would watch a similarly short program after the evening meal. Before leaving for Costa Rica, we split our time between The Munsters and classic ’90s X-Men with the occasional Battlebots episode because that’s kind of educational, right?

We did bring our Apple TV with us and configured our DNS so that we can get around regional restrictions and watch all our favorite shows just like when we’re at home. Our rental in Costa Rica even has expanded basic cable, quite the luxury. But other than a few nights of novelty viewing poorly dubbed Spanish, the TV is a solemn black box in the corner, silently waiting for our attention. We’ve found some joy in a newly christened weekly movie night; but we’ve all discovered new pursuits to occupy our time.

Camille has been reading like mad, devouring nearly ten books in four short weeks. We’ve spent countless afternoons swimming in the pool, at friends’ pools, in the ocean. Self-guided viola practice has increased and daddy-daughter jam sessions fill otherwise quiet afternoons. There have been walks through the jungle to discover unfamiliar beasts and walks on the beach bathed in the glow of equatorial sunshine.

It’s those walks on the beach that are my favorite. On our previous Costa Rica visit, we fell in love with sea glass hunting. The sound of the waves, cool pressure of ocean-washed sand on your soles and searching out glistening glass hidden amongst the crushed rocks and shells. I don’t know why I find it so invigorating but the rush can’t be denied.

Our sea glass collection, after four weeks.

I’ve started mixing up my morning runs, driving to Playa Guiones instead of running to the closer Playa Pelada so that I have a better chance of finding specimens for our growing collection. The pieces we’re finding this time are huge, many larger than half-dollar coins. The common greens and clears are there with a few light blues standing out from the pack. Cobalts, yellows and roses have yet to be found.

Today’s haul was a fairly normal one, bringing home a half dozen large, middle-value greens with a clear and light turquoise thrown in for variation. I encountered a fellow searcher today and I inadvertently picked up my pace, coveting my cache and hiding it as she walked past.

Being engulfed in nature, quietly reading a book or playing intricate games of hide and seek with decades-old recyclables, we’re finding new ways to get in touch with simple things that make us happy. I’m hopeful this is a lesson we take home with us – even though it’s hard to find sea glass amongst the cobblestones and pavement on River Street.

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