Paradise Catcher: A Short Story By Matthew Williamson

Inspired by Costa Rica


On a recent trip to Costa Rica, Matthew Williamson took inspiration from the spectacular tropical setting - and wrote a short story about it, exclusively for ELLE.

Paradise Catcher

The southern coast of Costa Rica became this summer’s hideaway. Within minutes of settling in my hilltop home from home, a tropical tale that only Mother Nature could have scripted unfolded.


First came the neon-yellow bills of the jet black toucans, a childhood favourite I was in awe to see up close in the nearest treetops. Eyes as sharp as a button and edged with a flash of toxic green. In they swooped, surveyed their surroundings - and off and away again as quickly as they came.


Quicker and closer still hovered the hummingbirds. Luminescent, iridescent and beyond any painter’s palette I've ever imagined. 

The tropical jungle stretches far and wide like a runway strip for the Concorde of them all. Macaw parrots seen only as a pair, dart and glide across the canopy in such perfect unison like the red arrows of their domain. Scarlet red, acid yellow and cobalt blue, they mate for life and live as long as we do.

Into the night as the sun drops down, the storm clouds come abound and drench the sun-scorched day away. Up rises a fog of steamy mist and out comes the chorus of a frog’s delight.

The night draws in and the magic unfolds, and only my imagination can play out what's left to be told. 

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