The soil of Costa Rica is deep brown/black and loamy. Plowed fields look like furrows of ground coffee. Volcanic soil makes for sweetness; pineapples, whose spiky plants fill acre after acre, grow too luscious and succulent to describe. Banana trees and giant aloes filled with fluid to rigor, soar. Great scarlet combs of color fall from roadside limbs. Limes and oranges bob from branches. Toucans sit atop leafless pinnacles and azure birds and butterflies dart before you. Humming birds dance between hibiscus. Black and orange orioles, larger and more brilliant, sit upon painted fence posts. Monkeys howl greetings to the morning sun.
In the cool of the forest, giant primordial trees perhaps 10 feet in diameter, spread wide their roots to secure another century of creation. Lizards and m&m colored, poison dart frogs and the much feared bullet ant, race in and out of its sheltering crevasses. Leaf cutter ants parade here and there with their flags raised high. Parrots fly in formation and sloths wind themselves around strong branches.
These riches are everywhere. The land shows no favoritism. It was breathtaking in the gardens of the landed, at the entrances of the plantations, in the uninhabited jungles, in the front yards of the country homes and in the shantytowns. Nowhere that man had left some soil to the sun’s gracing, did it not return its thanks. I saw soil piled upon a table top, secured with some round river stones, that bloomed into a garden. Children picked sweet wild fruit from every tree, and every plant seemed to hold some secret wonder.
Only in one place did the beauty that was Costa Rica dim. In the city, Limon’, the soil gave way to man’s cement and metal. The homes, cramped and rusted, were made of stronger stuff and everything seemed concrete. The soil was pushed aside, covered over. Man’s progress seemed an ugly effort. No shop nor statue could in any way compete with the beauty and bounty of the poorest man’s land.