A homecoming for those who love the ocean best

Today my boost comes from the knowledge that people for whom Costa Rica’s beaches are not a vacation destination, but a birthright and a responsibility, are going to be able to dip their toes in the early-morning waters for the first time in months.

As part of the new, four-phase restriction-lifting plans announced yesterday, the Costa Rican government announced that beaches will be open from 5-8 am on weekdays only, starting on Monday, May 18th. For people who depend on the oceans for their sustenance, or who have grown up taking a walk or a dip in the oceans they love as part of their daily life, the closure of the nation’s beaches must have been particularly hard these past nine weeks, like someone coming in and closing your backyard. At the same time, the weekday-only rule and the focus on early morning hours should keep hordes of us city folk from descending on coastal communities and potentially taking the COVID-19 virus into their midst. I hope it does, at least.

Here’s to the ocean-keepers, those who live and breathe the rhythms of the ocean, those who pick up the plastic the rest of us send downstream, those who conserve and protect our coastal ecosystems, the kids who have been waiting in the heat to feel some salt water on their toes. You deserve to have your beaches back, all to yourselves. May your early mornings be everything you’ve been waiting for. And may the rest of us remember, next time we join you, that we are your guests.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookIf you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.

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