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Crystal Clear

by Todd Pequeen

“Where did Mom go?” I respond like the smart ass I can be at times. “Perhaps she’s having a glass of wine on the porch next door”, knowing full well it is only eleven in the morning and my Mom rarely drinks as it is. The fact that I am talking to my father is what makes it funny… to me at least. You see my Dad refers to my Mom as “Mom” when my sisters are around, which I find quite endearing actually. The second fact is my father is turning over from a face-down position onto his back, face-up, because I am forty-five minutes into a ninety-minute massage that I am giving him. I know through fifteen years of experience that no matter who you are a good massage can do amazing things to the mind. Relax it, numb it out, or just juggle it enough to the point where funny things can be said or done. As white picket fence as it may sound, Mom was actually ironing clothes directly behind us when we started the massage. Our little beach cottage in Canada, on the shore of Lake Erie, is simply one big room. Besides the screened-in front porch, the cottage is simply one big living room and kitchen combined, flanked by four small bedrooms and a bath. I get no other questions from him for the remainder of the massage and I sense he finally “lets go” after the question. “Lets go” of control, releases time unto itself, and lets me do my work in between sighs, snores, and simple relaxation. I can think of no other place I’d rather be in those moments and am delighted to have Dad literally “under my thumbs”. 

Living in the moment comes with practice. Like everything else of value in our lives nothing is free. Everything that is worth having takes work or some sort of level. The reason for the massage on Dad (and Mom the next day) was that their forty-sixth wedding anniversary was upon them. I couldn’t think of a greater gift, nor could I opt to give them something of monetary value. In that time of giving I, too, benefit, by bestowing all of myself to the two people that created me. What an amazing triangle. I felt lucky to have the time and money to be away from Manuel Antonio on such a special day. Forty-six years of marriage should be special in anyone’s eyes. 

PEACE, LOVE, AND JOY TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE. This is what the sign says that hangs above the front door of the cottage. As I conclude my Mom’s massage, my attention keeps getting distracted by that sign. I wonder how many people who enter the front porch for a beer, a chat, or seeking something else actually read that old wooden engraving. Then I realize that it doesn’t matter. What is important is that we as a family provide that for our guests. Perhaps it’s a reminder to us. Hopefully one, two or all three of those words are the experience upon leaving. How beautiful those three simple words are. I feel obligated to share them to our neighborhood friends, their children, and most of all to strangers. I am always overflowing with a sense of wealth when I am back at the place that I am from. 

(Todd Pequeen is originally from Buffalo, NY and was the first male massage therapist in Manuel Antonio. He has his Bachelor of Arts in English Writing from George Mason University and is graduate of the New York Institute of Massage. He works independently here in Manuel Antonio both at his home studio and on location and can be reached at 8830-7727)


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