La Lucha Continúa

This is so tough. In addition to the grim issues facing us, just learning how to balance the required responses, with life, is hard. Life. Remember life before this takeover/election/inauguration? Remember spending time thinking about what to cook for dinner? — how best to finish that quilt for a grandchild? Choosing the right paint color has lost some appeal these days.

From one of our kid guests

A favorite guest letter from a little boy we taught to catch tarantulas.

Like most of us, I’m drowning in emails, calls and letters; trying my best to share the truly most important articles, petitions, and bits of information, helping to organize small, or attending large, community meetings. Granted, other than the finca, I’m retired, so I find days filling up, and overflowing, with it all — and with no end in sight. This afternoon I’m listening to a national call from the ACLU, about forthcoming lawsuits. The other day, we listened to an Indivisible/Move-on/Working Families call with over 25,000 others. I have to say, it’s encouraging to hear experienced professionals share very pragmatic strategies and tactics. Yesterday I wrote postcards with a group of women over coffee. All the while I’m wondering — am I doing enough? Too much? Not enough? And you’re likely wondering how does this have anything to do with the finca?

It’s interesting. Yesterday I was starting to spin out and bog down from it all. When do I get to get my glasses fixed? When do I stop feeling overwhelmed with dread ? Sitting at my computer, determined to get something done for myself, invariably, my fingers continued to click on links. Insidious news stories keep creeping up the right margin of my brain. I’m supposed to check on a technical glitch in our site, but, instead of the the next horrendous news item — I press on our reviews.

That’s where you come in. Our guests. I spend the next half hour drenched in finca love, reading a handful of sweet notes from folks who’d stayed just this winter. A magic healing balm. To read about how much guests love the place always feels good, but I read more. I noticed people wrote about the shared main house kitchen, how they made friends with other guests, how they’d never done that before, and how the place lent itself to openness and sharing. And that felt more than good. Like we had done something that mattered. If we can do anything that helps brighten your stay, great. If the finca can change the way we work with, interact with new people, or travel more openly — all the better.

Now let’s be clear, I’m not at the finca, right now. Scott and Bill T are at the helm, working their _______ (flip flops?) off this winter. Bill P and I have to be in the States for medical stuff, so I take no credit for being the consummate hosts that they are. Heartfelt thanks, and great reviews go out to them! We are up here, remotely trying to manage the final steps of the solar array, paying the bills, finding groups to lead workshops. It can feel pretty removed from the place. But suddenly, reading these kind words —  I am not only back there in the palms and sunshine, I’m part of a bigger effort that is built on love. Love of people — all people, of the planet, of honesty, of creative self-expression, of community. And it’s in Puerto Rico, a place, at least comparatively, missing racism, anger or pretension; a place of love and tolerance, where warmth seems to come as much from my neighbors as it does that strong sun. A place that has taught me so much, like looking every person you walk by, in the eye, with a “hello” — at the very least. The place we’d be if only we could. Thanks to this crazy online world, and the folks who take time to share their sweet memories and good wishes,  I get to share in the love vicariously.  And that helps me find the balance I need.

Who knew? Who would have guessed that a hotel review can be one more way of sharing the love? Like saying “buen día” to everyone you pass by, ride the elevator with, or share the main house kitchen with. Who would’ve known that just being kind — in the littlest ways — could matter so much?

“La lucha continua”, as they say on Vieques,  — the cause, the struggle lives on. Sprinkling kindness into the mix sure helps.


(( My Tropical Journal is my not-so-regular blog — on la finca vieques, the oldest, maybe only, dedicated eco-resort on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We’re a cluster of five handmade houses and a sweeping rustic villa for groups, families friends, romantic getaway offering a more community alternative to mainstream inns or the separateness of airbnb online rentals. No-chemical pool, three acres of natural landscaping & fruit trees (we love to share!) and a score of hammocks…and you have the coolest place on the coolest island. #caribbean eco resort, #back packer hotel, #eco travel, and #off the beaten path to boot! Learn how to escape. The magic of la finca vieques eco resort.#green travel, #group travel #gay friendly, #family friendly #slow travel… giving all inclusive a whole new meaning! ))