Sometimes, the sweetest moments appear in the most unexpected places, like late at night in a cabin in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle.
Such was the gift we received from a Danish family of five staying in the cabin next to us at Casa Rio Blanco in Guapiles in 2009. Together, we were the only guests there at the time. We booked a cabin at Casa Rio Blanco as a quick overnight stop between our visit to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast and the Osa Peninsula on the lower Pacific coast. We'd heard the Danes come back to their cabin late that first afternoon, but never actually saw them until we were leaving the next morning. We had spent the afternoon hiking and relaxing, then enjoyed a good bottle of wine and delicious dinner cooked by the owner, Annette, before heading back to our cabin. It was raining softly, and after traveling for a week, we were exhausted and looking forward to sleep.
A little while later the family returned from their dinner in town and as we were drifting off to sleep, we heard soft guitar music coming from their front porch. I got up to peek out through the screen to hear what was going on, and the father started playing this beautiful song. Wow. He was really good and the song sounded vaguely familiar to me. Then his wife started singing, and the kids joined in - all of them perfectly harmonizing with her. It was so moving to hear, and special — obviously this gift was shared often within their family.
Just writing this now gives me chills because it was one of those perfect little moments in time. And then I recognized the song - it was a Phil Collins song, "You'll Be In My Heart".
Now...perhaps it was the wine, maybe it was that time of the month, or maybe a combination of things. But as my husband and I just stood there in the dark, looking out into the night with the rain softly falling, tucked into the jungle in a tiny corner of Costa Rica, we listened to the most beautiful thing I think we’d ever heard. My husband just looked at me. "Little gifts" he said.
It was still raining the next morning when we left Guapiles, and the singing family from last night was at the breakfast table as we said goodbye. I thanked them profusely for their "little gift" of singing, but I don't think they'll ever realize the true extent of how they’re singing touched our hearts forever.