The tale of My Toy Garden continues to weave…
It started off innocently enough….a postcard in a gift shop with a picture of an emerald green lake surrounded by a lush forest. Green…hmmmm… curious..interesting color for a lake. The picture invited me to step closer, bend and peer, intrigued. Where did that say this lake was? At the top of a dormant volcano? One that was accessible by foot? The entrance to the trail started behind the gift shop? It was more than my gypsy spirit could resist so hiking shoes donned; off we went in search of the elusive green lake.
The beginning of the journey filled our eyes with plants that must have come from Dr Seuss’s imagination….shapes and sizes not found in Indiana. Bark in camouflage stripes of light green, bright green and creamy almond. An giant army of leaf cutter ants steadfastly carrying their hard earned payloads over the riverbank to their home in an endless line we watched for several breathless minutes. With a start like that, my gypsy soul longed to see what lay ahead.
The terrain began to turn upward gently and the tree trunks grew a bit thicker. The thickening branches thinned the sunlight streaming down. Ferns covered the ground with their curling fingers beckoning us forward. The roots of the trees twisted and peeked through the soil in rivulets. 30 minutes later, the roots grew thicker and more challenging to step over. The canopy became a floating carpet of green allowing peeks of sunshine to filter through. Another 45 minutes later and the climb became quite steep with steps being methodically taken. Place one boot thigh high up on a root and….deep breath…uuuuuuuppppp. Whew. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I became a human fountain of sweat. Another 45 minutes of sheer upward focus refusing to quit now but determined to see the journey through. And there….there is was….the green lake!! Amazing!!!
As I’ve reflected on the past three years of the My Toy Garden journey, I’ve been reminded of this day in Costa Rica years ago. Creating and running My Toy Garden has been a ton of work. Many, many late nights. Many, many decisions to be made and parts to juggle. Days, weeks taken one slow but giant step at a time….uuuuuppppp! And along the way…wondrous things to behold making it totally worthwhile! So many special people I’ve met and had the pleasure to help on so many different levels. The busy swarms of children who have spent many a happy day coming to play and learn and enjoy. The meaningful conversations sparked by something found in a newsletter. It’s the journey I was meant to take. Now that I’m at the top of the mountain…looking at that miracle of a green lake.. having accomplished so much, it’s time to begin the journey down. The next few weeks will be challenging but a long rest is just ahead. I do hope that we meet on the pathways ahead for us both. It’s been an honor to serve you!