Sarah Calvert

"It's a new day...new dawn...new life for me; and I'm feeling good." Nina Simone

Me, Nana, and the new addition to our family...

 

My friend and fellow musician David Celia has a CD from years ago entitled, “I Tried”, and that’s the phrase that’s been swimming around my head when I think about staying in one place for a long period of time: “I tried”. And yet, here I am, on plane number two in two days, en route to Costa Rica to begin a new adventure. It really came out of the blue and it was my intention to stick around Nelson for the winter and spring. However, just before Christmas I saw a post on Facebook by a gal I know in Barrie asking, “Does anyone know someone who can teach secondary English and Socials and wants to go to Costa Rica?” Shit. I thought. I guess I’m not staying in Nelson after all. I knew it was the job for me once I went online and checked out the school. First of all, it’s called the Peace Academy, and you know me: Peace and Love and all that hippy stuff. Secondly, the classes are extremely small and students come from all over the world. Lastly, the school is a five minute walk from the beach. Oh, and did I mention that it’s close to the beach? And don’t forget: the beach. 

Since Christmas, my pipes in the cabin have been frozen for longer than they’ve been thawed, which means I’ve been hauling water, taking showers at the community centre and having my kitchen overrun with dishes. Basically, I’ve been glamping in my own home and putting Laura Ingles Wilder to shame.  And freezing my butt off in -20 degrees weather. Thus, this trip and teaching opportunity came at a perfect time. It wasn’t in the plan, but as Nana always says, “You can’t make a plan. You just can’t”. Speaking of Nana, I had an overnight last night in Toronto from Kelowna and had a sweet visit with her at her nursing home. Lucky for me, she was totally on her “A” game and was quite lucid. When my cousin Jonathan mentioned a wedding, she piped up and asked, “What wedding?” to which I replied, “My wedding Nana. That’s why I came home. I’m getting married!” Michelle (my sister) and she chimed in literally in unison with, “That’ll be the day.” Some things never change. Actually, that’s not true. What did change since I last left was that Nana recently had a baby. She holds nothing on Janet Jackson. Apparently there is a therapy that she’s undertaken whereby she has been given a baby doll, and she’s really taken a shine to it/him/her (we’re not sure of the gender yet).  She was cuddling it, admiring its “little ears” and cooing as if it were real. It was kind of creepy, because dolls in essence are kind of creepy, but at the same it was quite endearing to see Nana all soft and starry-eyed. I imagined what she would have been like with Mum, my aunt Lorraine and my uncle Alan when they were babies; it’s a side of her she didn’t really express much when I was growing up. In her old age, she’s become much more affectionate and huggable. Whenever we tell her that we love her, she smiles and says, “Love you too honey bunny.” Every time I leave that nursing home I think it could be the last time that I see her; she is 98 after all. I remember a couple of years ago telling her that I was worried that she wouldn’t be around when I returned after a long trip she shook her head and warned, “If you worry, you die. If you don’t worry, you still die. So why worry?” Words to live by I tell you. 

I got to have a lovely sushi dinner with my sis, dad, cousins David and Jon, and David’s wife Candace, before catching some shut eye, then returning to the airport early this morning. I was so filled with gratitude to have such an amazing family, and even though I don't get to see them enough, the times that we do share are quality and I really feel as though we have each others’ backs. I’m beyond blessed.

Who knows what lays around the corner in Costa Rica? Perhaps I’ll love it and decide to stay, or perhaps I’ll have a beautiful experience and then feel it’s time to move back to Nelson. I’m not sure of what the plan is, but as Nana says, “You can’t make a plan”. And so, I won’t. 

Question for You: When have you made a plan that has fallen apart, but actually, for a better outcome?

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