In the Moment in Panama

Costa Rica and Panama

Dec 25, 2009 – January 3, 2010

“A Moment”

“What’s in a Moment?”  She’s traveled through all 7 continents in recent years, witnessed incredible sites and experiences and found comfort in being abroad and living on her own in the present moment, but this particular moment struck her like few ever have.

This was the evening of their 6th day of 7 on the only boat allowed to anchor overnight in the sprawling manmade Lake Gutan which separates and feeds the up locks and the down locks of the Panama Canal.  It had been a wonderful whirlwind of a trip so far down the Costa Rican coast with her family witnessing amazing wildlife and birdlife both in the jungles and at sea.  Beautiful cultures and incredible sunsets abound here in the tropics, all in the most fearless of colors bringing an uplifting sense of joy to every scene and every moment.

Just hours earlier the boat had made its way through three sets of locks, rising this lovely vessel 83 feet up to this place.  At this moment the little boat rests at anchor in stillness.

She now stands on the bow watching the full blue moon cheerily reflect on the lively ripples of the lake, the playful resonance of water lapping against the hull with the slight, muffled background sounds of local music and laughter as folks on the stern prepared to bring in the new year and a new decade this very evening.  A light tropical breeze blows in from the Caribbean Sea not far from here after making its way through and around the lushly jungled shoreline.  She listens for howler monkeys, but they are quiet this evening.  Behind her a steady line of immense freighters and tankers chug between the 2 rows of green and red markers carrying their cargo from one set of locks to the next.  The scene reminds her of the long winding trails of leaf cutter ants she’d watched so curiously just days before dutifully marching in prescribed lines moving their loads from one point to the next.  Both the ships and the ants shared a steady easy quality to their migration, nothing hurried or irrational, just consistent determination and confidence that they will deliver their loads as planned and in good time.  A few crickets can be heard on the nearby shore, “I never thought of crickets in the jungle,” she thought to herself.

Serene Lake Gutan, Panama as 2009 becomes 2010

Serene Lake Gutan, Panama as 2009 becomes 2010

She heard the volume of humanity pick up suddenly; it must be the New Year now and “wow, 2010” a new decade as well.  “What’s in store for the future after such a turbulent past decade, and a recent rough sea we’d encountered a few days back?”  She considered being at this place in greater detail, at this rare moment in time and also reflected on the significance and symbolism that the Panama Canal represents.  “I’m experiencing this moment because of one man’s impossible dream to build a path between two oceans.  Did his dream come in a moment much like I’m experiencing currently with inspiration all around, or did it evolve over time?” she wondered and thought further, “what better time to commit keenly to a vision than this very moment?”  She wondered if any other creatures on this great Earth have such dreams.  It takes a lot to bring such a thing to reality sometimes… creativity, being open to learning from interim successes and failures, and always embracing thoughts of that ever-present dream.  It was said that all human emotions were experienced during the construction of the Panama Canal except thoughts of failure.  The project nearly did fail the first time out, but new visions, learned lessons from the past, improved technology and renewed commitment completed the project ahead of schedule and under budget… and all because of one mans dream!  Today the canal is under expansion and thrives in every way, it’s been a vehicle in it’s own way unlocking and opening doors to thousands of other dreams, many of which have come to fruition.  The huge modern bustling City of Panama stands as a monument to such achievement.  Did those dreams come in a moment too?

She pondered the many cultures that cross the locks each day and the number of people it takes to work together to smoothly and safely get each vessel from one sea to the next, it’s all so harmonious and everyone cheerfully waves to others as the ships pass by – so much amity in so many moments!  In this time of such cultural wars, there exists right here, a peace between differences spurred by a dream brought to reality.

A train of ships pass in the night

A train of ships pass in the night

Feeing boundless, the girl measured her own imaginings.  Truly there is no dream too big to take on and make come true, but a dream is just that without a plan and action, so later that evening after a brief celebration with her family and the others she curled up with her journal and began to write, to make lists and do it all without limits or reservation.  She’d done this before and was amazed at the results, so why not dream bigger this time, with more details, brighter colors and brand new paths?  It just takes a moment.

Categories: Latin America

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