In the wee hours of this morning, my parents and I sat on a bench at the Hotel Linda Vista, high up on a ridge in El Castillo de La Fortuna, Costa Rica, and watched lava flow from the volcano Arenal.
It was not the first time I’d seen it. About nine years ago, my husband, daughter and I saw the volcano erupt with plumes of sparks and rivers of lava from the other side, in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
Arenal is in a less active phase now, so we saw thinner threads of lava and what looked like glowing embers near the peak.
Nevertheless, it was an enormous privilege to see it, a reminder of how fortunate I’ve been to be able to travel in this world.
I don’t have a camera capable of capturing the lava flow at night, but this is how the scarred southwest side of Arenal looked when it cleared off for a while in the afternoon: