Stopping to hear, to listen and to appreciate so many things…


(I know,..,.Two post in one day!! Ayyyy! What can I say, I was feeling inspired today! Hah!)

I hear roosters, various birdsong, more roosters, dogs barking, drums in the distance, a mariachi band at my neighbors house (which has taken a break so I can hear all the lovely sounds of nature all around me). The occasional sound of a car driving by on the road below. Lot’s of different birds, there are so many different and unique sounds all over. And the nearby buzz of the Hummers as they take turns chasing each other from the feeder, all demanding it belongs to them! They sound so fierce as they chase each other, darting so fast and often buzzing right near where I sit. Then the peaceful sound of many hummers flittering around the feeder as they gobble up as much of the sugary nectar as they can before the day is over.

I hear sounds of laughter coming from a neighbors house, I think they are celebrating Dia Del Padre. Today is also Father’s Day here in Panama. It’s hard to know if the happy, party sounds are a celebration for a Padre or The World Cup Soccer games! But I must say, I find it fitting that the Padres here in Panama get to watch their favorite sport on their day. We stopped at Price Mart (Costco) today and boy were there a lot of Padres conveniently watching the game on the many giant flat screen TV’s in the store! It was a busy place and I just loved hearing the cheering when a score happened! Who knew Price Mart was the place to be for Watching soccer, but it makes sense…Multiple giant flat screen tv’s, air conditioning, Pizza, and Beer! What more could you want? No wonder so many dads agreed to go shopping on Dia Del Padre! Hah!

Now the Norte is drifting through the mountains. The Norte is what the locals call the very thick mist , almost fog but much thicker and not quite rain. This area, Alto Lino is known for this particular climate characteristic. On the metal roof it sounds like rain. But to look out all you see is a thick mist. I was describing the sounds that are accosting my ears at the moment…. And now I must add the distant thump of a car stereo mixed in with the Mariachi music! And occasional cheers! But what’s missing from the cacophony of sounds in my neighborhood? Let’s see…..ambulance or police sirens, car alarms, airplanes, trains, the sounds of traffic, the TV in the background because that contraption seems to be off way more than it used to be, Oh, the heater or air conditioner that’s funny to think about. We haven’t heard the heater click on because none of the houses up here in Boquete have heaters or air conditioners. Of course there were birds in Los Altos, and hummers and dogs, but for some reason I don’t remember ever sitting outside and actually listening to them. Is it because my senses are more in tune with my surroundings or I have more time to concentrate on it? Or did all the other sounds of living in a big city drowned out the sounds of nature? I’m not sure. Possibly a combination of all those things. My mind was certainly much more focussed on very different things.

When I lived in Los Altos, If dogs were barking or a neighbor had a mariachi band playing or if there was a particularly loud bird in my yard I may have been more annoyed by the sound than enamored by it….wait! I gotta tell ya about the loud “CRASH” of thunder that just happened! wow!!! This California girl has never really experienced the sounds of thunder and lightening like they have here! I just love it! It makes my heart beat faster and I don’t know if I’ll ever really tire of it! Its exhilarating. But…back to what I was saying about how annoyed I would have been in my former life had those darn sounds of nature accosted my ears when I lived in Los ALtos. I had other things to focus on and appreciating birdsong and loud thunder claps or the sound of a neighbors delightful family gathering did not make me smile. I had to get to sleep! Gotta get up and get to work! Humph! No time to appreciate such things!!

I think my renewed appreciation of some of the simple things in life may be one of my favorite things about this fresh new start we’ve made here. The time to appreciate so many different things is such a blessing. Our focus has changed in so many ways. I never fed the hummers and enjoyed watching them flurry about. I never stopped to watch the birds in my yard and listen to their songs. I certainly never befriended stray neighborhood dogs, feeding them and caring about them but not really worrying about where they lived. I never had the time or the notion to appreciate the sounds of nature, or just appreciate the sounds of my neighbors living life. Of course, all my neighbors were just as busy as me and not exactly spending much time with mariachi bands or huge family gatherings like these folks seem to do as often as possible.

Yes, as funny as it may seem I’ve really begun to appreciate all the many sounds that surround me here in this mountaintop town in Boquete, Panama. Many of the sounds are not so exotic or unusual, but they are somehow peaceful, yes even the rooster in the distance! Hah! Scott and I never seem to tire of how happy we are to have made the decision to bring our past life to a screeching halt so that we could create a new life and change our focus. We’ve had some people call us “lucky” but in actuality we are only “lucky” because of a choice that we made. A choice to begin again, and to restart our adventure. It’s not really anything about being “lucky”, at all , I believe that our lives are a series of ‘choices’ and we just happened to have made one that was a little risky and much different than most, and although this ‘exact’ choice isn’t one that the majority of folks would really enjoy the way we do, I wish everyone I know who is still working more than enjoying life would slow down a little and choose to listen to the birdsong a little more often. You don’t have to leave the country to decide to appreciate all the sounds in your life, Birds sing everywhere all over the world and hummers buzz no matter where you feed them. Sometimes a fresh new start can begin just where you are, it’s certainly not necessary to move all the way to Central America to stop and listen to sounds that make you smile. Life is good, no matter where you are!


About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

3 responses »

  1. (well almost everywhere!) I live in a place too cold (Alaska) for the hummers. But that will change when we too make let our adventure begin in Central America. I can’t wait. btw. I am freezing up here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s