Posts Tagged ‘Comfort’


Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Comfort is a transient and mutable quality. One may find comfort in the most difficult circumstances. Kind words from a friend. A laugh with a stranger. The touch of a child’s hand. A memory of security. Comfort seems to boil up from one’s heart like a hot spring into a snowy morning.


Hot Springs


Today as I sit quietly in the living space of Casa Verde in Los Baños, Ecuador and contemplate the fact that we are leaving this beautiful place and I don’t know when I will return, I feel simultaneously joyful and sad. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been so comfortable here in this bed and breakfast style hotel. No roaches, no dishes to do, my mom by my side (who can either frustrate me or make me laugh until I cry), and quite a bit of fun (zip lining, swimming under a huge water fall, soaking in hot springs, exploring the Amazonian Basin). We had fun in the town of Los Baños also, which has a bit of a carnival feel. It reminds me of Seaside, OR, but bigger and more cosmopolitan, with better restaurants and more interesting architecture.

Yet, this strange combination of joy and sadness feels deeper than simply leaving comfort and fun. The sheer cliffs that jut vertically from the Pastaza River, with cinder block and corrugated metal roof homes perched precariously on the green hillside, offer a scene of simplicity nestled in grandeur. The view from the comfortable futon that overlooks flowers that attract hummingbirds and low-lying clouds on the cliffs is one that I could enjoy daily and always admire.


Houses perched on the green cliffs on the other side of the river from Casa Verde

Houses perched on the green cliffs on the other side of the river from Casa Verde


Hummingbirds love these flowers

Hummingbirds love these flowers



Indeed, the fact that this futon has cushions and that I can access WiFi brings me much satisfaction. The laughter that my mom has brought me (she’s funniest when she’s not even trying) and the sense of adulthood that my nephew brings me are experiences linked to our stay in Los Baños that cannot be recommended or peddled on Trip Advisor. The day spent with our guide, Oswaldo, visiting the gateway to the Amazon Forest, provided me with 12 hours of Spanish conversation and the opportunity to be the translator for my family and I found myself drifting to sleep last night with “palabras de español” in my head.

Indeed, while I may not return here for some time, I may continue to draw upon this experience for years to come. When the heat of the moment is scalding my heart, I can put myself in the cool deep pool under a 70 foot waterfall, swimming under and behind it with my family. When the stress of others is palpable, I can be back in the Baños de Agua Santa (hot springs) at the base of the Tungurahua Volcano and a 100+ foot waterfall, soaking with dozens of locals who look at me curiously, while we jump from scalding hot to freezing cold and tingling all over our bodies. When the world seems harsh and relentless I can be back on top of a hill side, resting in a hammock, having my hand painted with the orange stain from a seed, overlooking a river that rushes its way toward the Amazon River.

Comfort is elusive at times. It hides below the surface of my task-orientation. It waits to be invited, not wanting to interrupt the plans for pushing forward and facing challenges. Comfort becomes buried under the perception of discord. I’m grateful to have experienced joy and comfort these past few days. It will fuel me for a lifetime, when invited.