Rainy season apparently has ended here in Panama because we have had bright skies and no rain for several days along with the arrival of the wind. So now it’s windy season. It blows all day, some days harder than others, but I like it, even though it means I need to keep my hair pulled back or it becomes a tangled mess I can’t see through nor comb out. However, the warm wind keeps the bugs away from me, and it feels lovely. I love a good wind.
Panamanians call the rainy season we just went through “Winter”. I have to chuckle because that’s not what winter really means to me! It means lots of snow piling up every where, plows blowing dirty snow onto my windshield so I can’t even see the road in front of me, ice I have to scrape off said windshield every time I want to drive somewhere, slippery roads, numerous layers of clothing worn in an effort to stay warm, and staying inside as much as possible for months because it hurts just to breathe the air. “Winter” here simply means doing what you need to do in the mornings before the rains start in the afternoon, but even if you get wet, it’s a warm wet, and if you have a car, that makes it even less of an issue. Mud might cause you some problems on occasion though.
So, the windy season is now upon us in this area. And that is due to the visiting Trade winds. Along with the wind comes the bajareque*, gorgeous rainbows, beautiful sunsets, and clear, star-filled skies.
I delight in looking at the skies here, as well as the terrain, vegetation, and wildlife, there’s always something to amaze the eye and heart. I watch the clouds descend on the mountains most days, looking like someone plopped mounds of whipped cream on them. Often the clouds sit in the valleys and canyons, and we look out over the tops. We go out every night to check out the stars, craning our necks back until they hurt, the stars feeling close and visible here at the equator. We search for constellations and seek out the the Milky Way, which is quite visible to the naked eye. Two nights ago, we had the pleasure of seeing a shooting star flash by. During the day, when the bajareque is blowing, rainbows abound, and we can see from one end of them to the other. I never tire of the beauty.
Our neighborhood enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving meal together this weekend. Seventeen of us got together for a potluck-type meal featuring turkey, of course. I never realized how different Thanksgiving traditional foods are, what I grew up with and served my own family is different from what others serve. Since the expats here come from all over, everyone has different traditions but the essence was the same, appreciation for friends and family, whether blood or not.
I have picked up a temporary, once-a-week job, though I don’t wish to label it as such, for a small family visiting here while they decide whether to stay for good. It’s with a couple near my age who brought her mother with them -she lives with them- and they don’t want to drag her around the countryside while they explore, since it would be too much for her. There is no nursing involved, just companionship and generally making sure she stays healthy and happy. Her mind is sharp, though she does forget things. She is a sweet lady and easy to be with, so it’s not a chore to stay with her. I have no end goals for this project, am allowing myself to stay in the moment and to see where it all leads me. I’m also very grateful for the small addition to my income.
Oh and by the way, my roommate is wonderful. We get along so well. I put out in writing what I wanted for a roommate, and everything on my list is in her. She’s easy to live with, we are very similar in so many ways. We do a lot of, “wow, that sounds exactly like what I did/happened to me!” Our families and marriages are very similar, up to even what our kids did, do, and look like. It’s uncanny. She is leaving the week before Christmas, I hope she returns. It’s up in the air, due to her having other travel options. I have threatened to handcuff her to her bed so she can’t leave. 🙂
Well, that’s it for my personal update. All is well here. Can’t believe it’s December already and soon to be another new year. I will be turning a birthday number in January that I have never associated with myself. I always associated that with my parents and the “older” generation. I’m not old! This may be the birthday I get weirded out about – 40 and 50 came and went and weren’t a big deal, I was happy to be that “old”. This one, I haven’t centered myself in the feeling/thought of it yet, but I will. Of course, if I live to be as old as I plan, this one is simply middle-aged!
January is also the 5th anniversary of my blog, that’s amazing to me. I was tempted to quit several times while I was going through a lot of inner and outer turmoil, but here I still am, happy to have my own place to let my fingers and thoughts fly across the page. And I really like that I can share writings, be they my own or from others, with people of like mind.
Take care, y’all. Hasta luego.
*Bajareque: During the dry season, the northern winds can carry some moisture over the mountain range from the Caribbean Sea into the northern part of the Boquete District. Since the Boquete District is on the leeward side of the mountains relative to the Caribbean cloud systems, the moisture that gets pushed over from the Caribbean side usually comes in the form of a mist or light rain that is locally called the “bajareque.