Updated: Feb 24
For my birthday, my girlfriend surprised me with a trip to San Juan. Our first stop was spending the day in the Rainforest.
I had never been to Puerto Rico, so I did not know what to expect. But I immediately felt a familiarity of home (S. Carolina), once we were greeted by the palm trees and the smell of the ocean.
The sun was nestled perfectly in the sky, while clouds circled in and out offering a touch of cool shade whenever needed.
When we arrived at the rainforest, we were received by a mature couple who owned a small snack shop - complete with bottle waters, snacks, and fresh coconuts. Outside were their pet cats, dogs and chickens. A rooster circled the grounds like he owned the place- he did - lol.
Our guide gave us some ground rules as we walked to the threshold of the forest. The main rule was to respect nature. Sometimes we would pass a piece of trash or firework debris (some kids gave a bit of a scare near the end of the trip) and our guide would angrily pick up the rubbish to later dispose of it. I understood his passion- and I could feel the sincerity in his desire to protect something so precious.
While in the rainforest, I listened to all of the stories that Hector, our guide, shared. Each one had its own lesson attached, although I don't think that was his intention. I felt lucky to hear him genuinely share his experiences and home with us, one exciting narrative at a time.
#1. We have everything we need.
This plant is called Butterfly Ginger (aka Shell Ginger)
We all enjoy ginger roots, but this edible plant that can also be used as a febrifuge (reduces fever),anti-inflammatory and It can be used in treatment of tonsillitis; and the seed is aromatic, carminative and stomachic.
#2. Nature is communicating with us.
This plant was used as a communication system for predict unwanted visitors in a certain location on the island- in times of war or distress. Similarly, this type of communication with plants has been explored by scientists and neurologists. Nature is always communicating with us, we just have to remember to listen.
#3. Humans can be the problem or the solution.
Pollution or preservation- it’s up to us.
We only get one earth. (Well, and arguably one Mars- but they'll probably continue to mess up Earth and try to leave us here. LOL).
I'll never forget this before and after photo during the pandemic:
I'm not perfect when it comes to recycling or being waste conscious- however, I do try to make better decisions day by day.
Well, that's all I have today friends. Have a wonderful February and create something for Black Futures during Black History Month! I have an announcement next week- so I'll make a longer post then.