I originally started this post with the title “Nature at our doorstep.” But as our new life in Panama unfolds, we’re rekindling a connection with nature that we haven’t felt since our boating days aboard Compañia (remind me to tell you about bait storms). We’re living on the threshold of a natural world that is beckoning us to explore more, rather than something that disappears the moment we close the front door. The apartment we’re currently renting is homey and comfortable, but at the same time is alive at any time of the day with bird song, cool breezes, and the patter of passing rain showers through the open windows. We fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning to these sounds (with a few crowing roosters and barking dogs thrown in). Needless to say, we’re sleeping more soundly than we have in a long, long time.
All of this is a stark contrast to the bustle of So-Cal, in so many ways as far-removed from nature as you can get. We’ve moved from the most populated urban area in North America to a very rural locale, where it’s actually possible to feel a connection with nature while sitting on your living room couch. Fun fact: the entire population of Panama is about the same as that of the city of Los Angeles, and only 20,000 people (give or take) live here in Boquete. No dis on So-Cal; living there was very, very good for us and we’ll always cherish the friends we made there – but we marvel at how much our lives have changed in just over two weeks.
On our daily walks with the girls, we head one or two miles up the road out of Boquete and into the hills north of here. Every day’s a little different, and we spot some new and unfamiliar flower and happen on vistas that change with each passing hour. We’re on the cusp of the rainy season now and the days are filled with sunny patches, bahareque (sort of a cross between mist and light rain) and out-and-out rainstorms.
I’ve started back to work full-time this week, but John – bless his heart – is finally getting to learn what it feels like to be retired. Today he joined a group hike up the Bajo Mono/Pipeline trail and climbed up to 7,000 feet (for the record, we are at about 3,800 feet here in Boquete). He came home more relaxed and happy than I’ve seen him in months (maybe years). Panama is going to be good for us!