I spend my time in Costa Rica together with my parents. Therefore I unscrew my horns and take out the red lenses from my hungry eyes.
I’m a one man welcome committee. No banners, no flowers. I hope my smile and presence will be satisfactory.
From a distance I see two familiar family faces appearing. A cuddle, a shuttle, an overnight, a breakfast, a ride to La Fortuna. Driving through Costa Rica is a treat in itself: uphill, downhill, blue skies and stunning countryside.
In La Fortuna we hang out at our bungalows and hike the surroundings of the Arenal Volcano. I rest up, whilst my parents draw their swords and battle their jet lag.
Three days later we make our way to Monteverde and its cloud forest. For a minute Costa Rica tricks us into thinking that is has decent infrastructure. But soon the highway turns into dirt roads and pothole galore. Add a few raindrops and you’ve got one fun, adventurous ride.
Monteverde turns out to be a melting pot of green and low hanging clouds. You can hear the forest coming alive at night and during the day birds in all colours fly over, heading for a refreshing dip in the Pacific.
It goes without saying that the nature is truly stunning, but the real joy for me lies in having the opportunity to spend time with my parents. The trees, the animals, the waterfalls, the volcanoes, all are stupefying, but none come close to my parents’ beautiful nature.
After a day of sightseeing we return to our home in the woods. They hang their halos on the coat rack, open up a beer and we sit down for a game of cards.
Merely their presence is a present in itself. It took some time to understand the meaning of unconditional love. But grasping that concept has been the greatest realisation and gift I’ve had since my world got distorted.
I see them growing older whilst they see me changing. Smiling is rare and roaring laughter hasn’t occurred in years. All I hope is that they don’t view my tweaks in personality as me doing worse than before. It’s merely that my smirk has picked up where the former rays of sunshine left off.
In our weeks together I cherish every single moment we have. Knowing that months or even years might pass before we reunite again.
We visit more jungles, we enjoy pristine beaches. But all I care for is another glimpse of those that I love the most. A tap on the shoulder, some sarcastic jokes, a touch of their hands. I laugh at myself. I’ve finally come across those feelings everyone keeps raving about.
Three weeks go by faster than expected - time always does. A last kiss on the cheek, a final hug. They spread their wings and fly back home. Whilst I will continue this journey that’ll ultimately lead me to the revelation of happiness.
Somewhere up in the clouds I see the glow of their halos slowly fading away. With my left hand I wave them goodbye, with my right hand I grab the horns and lenses out of my back pocket.
“Thank you so much,” I whisper. “Ik hou van jullie.”
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