Despite dancing throughout nearly the entire night, we decided to rise for a 4:30am sunrise swim, making our last moments together count. As we met on the misty morning shore, I stripped off my clothes and charged the sea, my new family following close behind.
There is something about swimming naked that alters the experience of being in the salty ocean to an entirely new level.
Freedom is an understatement. The water acts as silk as it grazes across my usually covered flesh. My body was blanketed in a swarm of crystal clear, chilled water as I floated horizontally to the rising sun.
This was the first time the water had felt even the slightest bit cold since I had been here, and the air carried a chilly, mysterious fog within it; barricading me from the usually radiantly blue sky.
As the sun made its way between the thick clouds, a purplish- pink tint soared through the sky, and reflected off of the still water. This was not only the clearest I had seen the water throughout these weeks, but also the clearest sunrise I have come across within my time here. The universe was surely working in our favors on our last Punta Mona swim.
That is when it hit me. This was the last time I’d feel the sweet, warm salt water of Punta Mona, at least for now. Thank goodness my last swim was a naked one!
The water washed away the dirt, emotions, and hardships of the past two weeks, and I was stepping into new beginnings. It was time to move away from this temporary fantasy life, and reproach the real world head, with an entirely new perspective. Hopefully one day, a place like this will become the reality I come home to, not the fantasy I must leave.
Now, as we sat around awaiting the boat, I felt silence for the first time since California. Nobody spoke, as we were all in a trance of our own chaotic thoughts. Although nobody said a word, I knew we were all thinking the same thing, “how do I possibly return to my normal life?”
I had spoken of this sad truth with several others over our last couple of days here. We had been living simply, efficiently, and blissfully; with like- minded family. We were all just simply happy. Constantly in the present, without a single worry of time. We were In the here and now, which created an extremely stress- free lifestyle. This is exactly how life should be, and I wasn’t ready to leave the first real community I had ever been exposed to.
We all wondered how we would return to our normal lives, our real worlds of constant disconnect. Cars, pollution, technology, rush, disconnect to the community, the earth, and the food we eat, and everything else that comes with our modern day lives. An empty world filled with nothing but meaningless possessions.
I hoped, and hoped the boat wouldn’t show up. But, in due time it inevitably appeared in the distance. It was time.
Tears raced down my cheeks as I said my farewells to everybody who remained on the community, then headed onto the boat with the others. Air kissing Punta Mona goodbye, the breeze of the rapid boat nearly blinded my eyes as I caught one last glimpse of my special place before we headed back to the real world. One day, this place will be my real world.
I was quiet the entire boat ride. I felt the wind, closed my eyes, and rubbed my Amythest stone for comfort. This didn’t feel real. The farther we drifted from Punta Mona, the more the nerves in my stomach stirred. Then, I saw the first glimpse of society, and my stomach was sent into a whirlwind of painful knots. I didn’t want to go and face the real world. I wanted to sit on this boat for an eternity.
However, I knew it was time. Although my gut didn’t like the idea of it, my heart knew what needed tot be done next. I am now a new, better, extremely transformed version of myself. Each and every one of us leaving Punta Mona are all facing the world at different angles, but always bonded in a web. This web will continue to grow as we positively impact different parts of the world, knowing we will always be connected by our roots. We cannot hide in the comfort of the jungles forever, and we certainly can’t run from the problem. We must carry this new knowledge and inspiration home with us, and inspire our communities. Each and every one of us are going to do a small part in contributing to the large change in this world, one seed at a time.
I stayed in a hostel on my final night, with several other farmers, before heading home.
I had my first hot, real shower in weeks, along with an average everyday necessity that felt foreign to me; a mirror.
I glanced at my reflection for the first time in weeks, that felt like years. What I saw was nearly unrecognizable. My skin was glowing caramel brown, spotted with nothing but smooth freckles. I did not have a drop of lingering makeup on even the smallest eyelash. My eyebrows were beyond overgrown, and my sobbing wet hair tangled into chaos around my face. My lack of brushing it created crazy ringlets, along with several dreadlocks. I did not recognize myself. It had been so long since I had seen a mirror image of myself, and I had become a whole new me. What I saw was true, raw beauty. Natural, untamed, and feeling fully confident about myself for the first time ever. I did not need to hide behind any form of makeup, as I was now okay with my natural self. More than okay, I fully embraced each and every beautiful flaw about myself, and no longer wanted to cover any of it up. For the first time ever, I truly loved myself.
I am now ready to take on the world, and I will be the positive change our planet needs. I am filled with so, so much knowledge, love, inspiration and life; and I am ready to share myself to the entire world.