I asked my 13 year old son to blog about our time in El Salvador. I told him it was completely up to him about what to write about. The amount of trash seen on the beaches and in the ocean was apparently what stuck out most for him. Here’s his blog:
El Salvador is a country in Central America; it’s south of Guatemala and north of Honduras. We were recently there for five months waiting out hurricane season. El Salvador is a very beautiful country except for one thing… the trash.
Sailing down the coast we saw more and more trash the closer we got to El Salvador and less trash as we sailed further south. The beaches are covered in bottles, bags, and surprisingly a lot of flip flops?! In some places on the beach you can’t even see sand!
Most people in El Salvador just don’t understand that it’s not good to throw their trash everywhere. While we were at the marina, my parents saw someone dump two whole garbage bags full of trash into the ocean. There was so much trash in the estuary that when we get in the dingy to go somewhere we have to swerve around trash so we don’t get any stuck in our propeller.
In roman mythology, Neptune is the god of not only the sea but of earthquakes. El Salvador is also known as the earthquake country. My mom and I were talking one day about how Neptune might be mad at El Salvador for dumping trash everywhere.
When we were in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua it was so clean, the streets were spotless, and the beaches were clear. While in a taxi, we were telling the taxi driver how clean it was there compared to El Salvador. He said that thirty years ago San Juan Del Sur was trashed and that they were able to clean it up to the beautiful place it is today.
One of the saddest parts is that all of the animals in El Salvador are living in the trash. All of the street dogs have to eat from it and all the cows, goats, and pigs too.
I think that if the country of El Salvador really tries to clean up like Nicargua did, then they could be the great country I know it can be. A way they could fix this is to start teaching the kids how to recycle and that it’s bad to litter. Besides the trash, El Salvador is amazing. There are many volcanos that you can hike up and view the entire city of San Salvador.
Another thing that’s cool about El Salvador is that the homeless don’t sit on the road holding a sign begging for money like they do in the US. They are out there trying their best to sell small things and earn a living. Even if it’s just selling water bottles, or cleaning windshields of cars as they are at a stoplight. Everyone is so kind and nice, they are always trying to help us with the little English they know, and everyone always asks, “How do you like my country?” If the beaches were clean, they would be beautiful. There is white sand, blue water, and the sea temperature is perfect. Maybe you’ll be able to see that in thirty years.
What is Litha?
Well, to my family and me, Litha is our home. Litha is the name of our sailboat as we travel the world. But what is Litha, and why did we choose it as her name?
Litha is the Celtic/Pagan celebration of the Summer Solstice, and marks the first day of summer. It is opposite of Yule (the Winter Solstice) on the Wheel of the Year. The wheel shows the four “Sabbats”, or Solar Celebrations, coinciding with the Solstices and Equinoxes. And also the four earth celebrations, or “cross quarter days” between solar points. For instance, Samhain (modern day Halloween) is halfway between the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.
Litha is the longest, brightest day of the year. The word “Solstice” comes from the latin word “Solstitium” meaning “sun stands still”. Ancient Celts used to celebrate Litha by traveling to the hilltops and lighting bonfires to honor the space between the earth and the heavens, land and sky.
Other ancient rituals included lighting a large wheel on fire and rolling it down a hill into the water. Litha is the most powerful day for the sun, but it also marks the days becoming shorter again. The water and fiery wheel may have represented soothing the sun’s strong fire, and was an offering to the gods to prevent drought for their crops.
Litha has been known as an important day for ritual. From the Romans honoring Juno, the Goddess of women, childbirth, and marriage, by naming the month of June after her as crops and nature thrive in summer; to offering cinders from bonfires to crops as a blessing. Even William Shakespeare associated ritual and witchcraft with the Summer Solstice in at least three of his plays. It’s a powerful day. Earth and Air, Fire and Water, Day and Night. The sun leaves Gemini with such duality, and enters Cancer, the sign of warmth, home, and comfort.
A modern day ritual that I would recommend today would definitely include focusing on your Solar Plexus Chakra. This Chakra is located just below your ribcage at your sternum. The color associated with your Solar Plexus is yellow, and it represents your own inner sun: Your fire, your willpower, and your sense of self. As you light your own bonfire tonight, write down aspects of your self that do not make you feel as powerful and confident as you truly are. Burn these small pieces of paper in the fire to rid of them and increase your self worth and shine! Stay up late and say goodnight to the sun tonight. Play music, light a BBQ, and enjoy the longest day of the year!
We named our home afloat Litha for our own balance in life; to celebrate a never-ending summer of wanderlust for our family. Follow us at http://www.lifeoffthedeepend.com
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Planting seeds, blooming, and returning back to the soil is a common metaphor used to explain how the moon cycles impact us each month.
I offer this new metaphor for flowy, watery, ever-changing, adaptable humans like me. For those of us who do not feel grounded most days, and we definitely don’t feel like pretty flowers:
New Moon ~ An orange sunrise on a beautiful sandy beach — A new day. The water is calm where you sit but you can see the waves caused by the Spring Tide crashing, strong and powerful, on the reef in the distance. You feel the need to rise and spring forward.
Waxing Crescent ~ You find a paddleboard on the beach and decide to get in the sea and float. Dipping your paddle in the water, you gently move forward to explore the reef. You circle around it, watching the waves crash on the other side.
First Quarter ~ You feel the momentum and power from those waves and you need to experience them. You’re nervous, but also excited about not being in this calm little cove anymore. You receive support in the form of an amazing sturdy sailboat. You match the power of those waves with your own power, and you soar over the reef into the vast ocean.
Waxing Gibbous ~ It is a beautiful day at sea, sailing through the ocean under your own power. With only the wind and signs from the universe to tell you where to go next, everything just feels “right”. At night, you look up at the stars and ask them to guide you. You are enjoying your journey.
Full Moon ~ You find a new exciting beach and decide to anchor over and throw a huge party to celebrate your accomplishments and your journey so far. You invite friends, you imbibe, and you dance. You look up at the sky and appreciate the outward focus on your life. You dive in the cool water and swim naked around your boat, cleansing your body and feeling free.
Waning Gibbous ~ The sun is shinning in the late morning and you’re feeling a little hung over from your celebrations. You decide to take it easy and go for a swim to relax. It feels cold and refreshing and you spend some time snorkeling, thinking, and watching the sea life.
Third Quarter ~ It’s time to start thinking about heading over the next reef to go somewhere new. You’re feeling restless in this calm cove and the waves are beginning to become more powerful in the distance again. You take a walk around the island to say goodbye to your new friends and thank them for their time with you.
Waning Crescent ~ It is now sunset, dusk. It is time to let go of this current journey and get ready to begin the next. As it gets darker, you pause and take time to meditate on the beach, feeling a little sad, but ready to start fresh in the morning — A new day.