“About a half-hour north on a dirt road off the highway is a small, tin-roof stand selling Coco Frio: ice-cold, fresh coconuts. We stop for a drink. They slice off the top of the green, football-sized fruits; plop in a straw; and the cool, watery liquid slides down into the depths of my heated body. It’s the rainy season and oh, so hot and humid. I feel a breeze from a passing car. My eyes follow it with longing. Any breeze is a sacred gift.

We drive another hundred meters or so to another dirt road. This one guides us far from the sounds of the highway into rolling fields and then … the jungle.

It surrounds the river like a lush, elegant cloak, vibrating with life, with energy, with humidity I can taste. We drive through mud, rocks, even fording the river once or twice. We get out, gather our backpacks—already wet with heavy air—and begin our trek.

The birds tempt me to miss my steps. What color was that one? The plants whisper secrets. I am glowing with intrigue, hardly able to act like a normal human being. It’s all too much for my senses to hold in with composure. And then, we see it.” . . .

Read “Unwrapping the Gifts of the Heart” by Brynne Betz, exclusively in ALOVEDLIFE volume 4, a timeless bookazine by Absolute Love Publishing featuring stories on Intentional Living, Elevated Action, Conscious Connection, and Sacred Self Care. Learn about all the editions here.