Sometimes, the best thing a mom (or dad) can do for her kids is to do something for herself. So earlier this week, I nursed up Teddy, dropped Lucy at school and set off on a pilgrimage to see Jesus (said the half Jewish girl). Though really what I did was punish myself for 40 minutes as I scaled the hill in Pacific Marlin to the world’s second largest Jesus statue, set just north of our little San Juan Bay. I’ve visited Jesus numerous time with friends and family, but always by car. I knew him when he was a wee-one, quite literally before he had his head on straight.
I cheated a bit by parking at the bottom of Marlin and began my journey at the old gate, just inside the Talanguera neighborhood. As luck would have it, the skies opened as I took my first steps, creating a much cooler and much slicker trek. I’m naturally clumsy, so slippery grassy paths and I do not get along well. Nevertheless, I continued on in the hopes of finding solitude and sweat beneath the looming clouds. It took me just under 10 minutes to reach the turn off at the top of the hill, passing a few local caretakers on their way to work along the way. I caught my breath under the guise of looking at some of the lots for sale just below Jesus before continuing on to the final stairway to decompression. Two steps below reaching enlightenment, St. Peter’s surly younger brother greeted me at the gate and charged me two bucks. In my most broken Spanish, I attempted to charm the guard and convince him that I am a resident of San Juan and therefore, should only pay 20 cords (80 cents). But he tripped me up by asking to see my cedula (proof of residence), and I realized, ashamedly, that I was haggling over one dollar in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Besides, two dollars was still way cheaper than a gym membership and I didn’t have to wait in line for the Stairmaster. And let’s face it, the payoff is way more spectacular, even on a rainy day:
I lingered for a while to absorb the tranquility, the quiet, the calm, the blessing of this town I’ve called home for over five years now and then I began my descent back into the beautiful chaos of motherhood.
Oh and that caretaker I passed on his way to work? He was actually just heading into town for a bottle of Coca Cola and made it down, back, and up before I was halfway there.