Typical Tuesday at the Casa

We started the day cutting vegetables for this week’s soup.

Here is a bucket of shu shu, a new vegetable for me. The inside is light green and has the consistency of zucchini, maybe a little more firm. It has one seed in the center. IMG_2045

Anything with ridges is harder to peel, and shu shu also needs to be cut and the seed removed. I got there early (notice, very few people!)….

Lots of buckets of vegetables on benches

…so I was able to find a sharp knife and a peeler (truly rare commodities) and laid claim to a bucket of carrots (easy to peel). That is my blue water bottle, above, and my bucket of carrots, below.

Bucket of unpeeled carrots

Friends soon arrived to peel with me.

Peeling with friends

Sam does some creative carving as well!

Carving a carrot

Once peeled, the carrots are cubed using this tool. A trained professional places the carrot on the grid, then lowers the handle. The carrot cubes drop into a bucket below.

Cubing the carrots

As folks slowly arrive, peeling becomes the morning social gathering.

A garden of us peeling vegetables

After peeling veggies, I sat in the garden, went to the waterfall (3rd time – I love it there!), and joined a group doing some truly uplifting spiritual singing (led by three guitar players). So fun!

Tonight, alot of us met up at Frutti’s for dinner and dessert.

Hanging out together at Frutti's

Tomorrow, we see John of God again.

Love and blessings,
Marie

Shifting my focus

Week one passed so quickly.

During the prayer service this morning, a woman brought her guitar upfront to play and sing. None of us was familiar with the songs so we couldn’t sing along.

Last year, I LOVED the prayer service and was uplifted by the chance to belt out fun songs in a big group with guitar music. It bothered me that I couldn’t sing along. Her “performance” was cutting into my joyful song.

Throughout this trip, I have been trying not to compare it to my trip last year. I was thoughtful about making sure that I connected with others on this trip and that I participated in everything. I thought I had it covered.

But I suddenly realized that, because I was here before, I now had EXPECTATIONS and I wanted them to be met. Last year, I threw myself into each day and in fact, into each event. But now I had an idea of how things “should” be, and I liked them that way. I liked doing my own joyful singing during the prayer service last year. I wasn’t ready for someone else to take the stage and share her joyful singing.

As I considered this, I also noticed that I was spending time looking forward to events, which was fun but distracting me from fully immersing myself in the event happening right now. For example, when the prayer service was not making me happy, my mind wandered to think about our upcoming trip to the waterfall, which I loved last year and looked forward to again. Further, because I wasn’t really experiencing the present moment, the time was passing without my noticing. Hence, the quickly passing week.

So, I shifted my attention to be more present. This service didn’t have as much singing, but it was still lovely. And when another woman rose to sing, I decided to try and pay attention and not escape into some fun fantasy.

She launched into Ave Maria and I felt transported by her beautiful voice. I looked at her standing in the front of the room. She appeared to be very plain and almost timid so the voice was a surprise. As I continued to look at her, I saw a white shadow around her head.

I blinked to refocus my eyes, and it slowly formed again. It was close around her head but not symmetrical. As she sang and I watched, the white shadow pulsed and grew around her head and expanded to include her right shoulder. Soon, a small rainbow of colors appeared close to her head, but the white was still the largest and had the strongest pulsating life.

If I had escaped into my little fantasyland, I would have completely missed that.

I hope you are fully enjoying whatever moment you are in, and then as it passes, fully enjoying the next one.

Love and light,
Marie