I Didn’t See A Sloth

When my parents invited us to join them on their once in a lifetime trip to Costa Rica, I was hesitant…international travel to the equator with 2 young ones and a heat sensitive husband?? Then I remembered, sloths live there.

I’ve always been fascinated by these guys:  3 toes, sleep for 20 hours a day, move so slowly that algae actually grows on their fur, markings that put a perpetual smile on their face, it’s hard to imagine a cuter being. 
We arrived after 5 hours to another planet. We left behind a snow laden New York and ended up in a house in the middle of a rainforest, surrounded by scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, and giant toads the size of kittens. 

Photo taken by my brother Tim Weiss
The house was constructed thoughtfully into the jungle as to coexist in an immersive environment. Using recycled wood pieces to decorate and build, the home is built into the side of a mountain with incredible ocean views and virtually all the creatures in the surrounding forests. 
Each excursion lent an opportunity to see a sloth. First was the mangrove tour. A 3 hour boat ride down a lazy river yeilded sightings of a snake, 2 varieties of monkeys, countless birds, incredible foliage and even a small crocodile. No sloths. Next was a trek into the closest national park and ocean front. People claim to see sloths in the trees that you have to walk through to get to the beach. Sadly, not me. Last was a horseback riding excursion I took with my brother and sister-in-law, an equally exhilarating and terrifying trip for me. I believe at one point the guide was screaming that there was a sloth in the trees above, but my horse would not slow down and thus I missed another opportunity.

I clung to my hope for awhile, but as night fell on our last evening in CR, I knew a sloth sighting wasn’t in the cards for this trip. And that’s ok. Sometimes the dream is enough to propel you forward. 
It was incredible to allow ourselves to be absorbed into the constant breathtaking beauty that sent my brain into overdrive, in trying to commit the shapes of the leaves to memory, the exact shade of green against the vibrant azure sky. I tried to bank the inspiration for the moment I could sit back at the bench and begin creating again. 

These deep, blues and greens I have chosen to use in my most recent collection, Coastal Dreams, are able to conjure up the feeling I had walking on the black sand beach to the beautiful ocean, turning around, looking at the rainforest behind me, and watching 30 pelicans take flight in a V formation right over my head. 

Time is fleeting and precious. I am always trying to capture a moment to hang onto, to slow it just a tad. I didn’t see a sloth this go round…but I still came back with enough inspiration for the next 40 years.