Today is a Perfect Day, Especially if You are a Mushroom
When I look back on my recent years, I am surprised. I have been traveling for more than three years now. My life keeps showing me new opportunities and discards others without my consent. I could not have predicted how I would live today a few years ago. I enjoy my new life immensely. For me, my journey through nature has become as essential as breathing.
The Country that I Carry Inside Me
I miss Colombia, the Sierra Nevada, the Andean mountains, and my beloved rainforest. While writing, I am still in the air, far from starting to fly over the Atlantic. The images of what I will see and feel are so real that I can perceive the smell of the forest, the coffee plantations, and the aroma of the wet soil.
As I write, the images of what I feel are real. I can perceive the smell of the moss, of the coffee plantations in flower, and of the damp earth.
Yesterday, while listening to my favorite classical music station, the presenter commented on the weather: “Today is a perfect day, especially if you are a mushroom: the day is hot and humid.”
I loved his comment. Then I realized l would like to be the mushroom in the rainforest, the mist and the frost in the paramos, the tiny orchids in the cloud forest, and the butterflies among the flowers. Every day is a perfect day!
I like to stroll, looking for the ants that carry their leaves among the foliage, touching each other with their antennae, and walking determinedly in their path. They take chunks of leaves and tiny flowers and advance, protected by those in charge of watching the march from the tall grasses.
Growing up, I liked to drop a small leaf or some fruit in their way to see them solve the puzzle. The sentinels gave the warning signal, quickly investigated, and decided whether to go around the obstacle, overtake it or walk around it. Soon the march continued.
Experiences like this taught me to wander carefully in the woods; I could pass by without seeing or stepping on them. That’s why I enjoy every moment without rushing my pace.
I look for the lizards hidden among the leaves. I search for frogs, caterpillars, and small flowers hidden in the moss.
I get surprised by the call of a bird or the slight flapping of wings that invites me to pause. Getting to the summit is rarely my goal, but every halt I take turns to be my new destination.
Birds fly away when they hear the sound of my footsteps on the dry leaves. They hide among the trees, but they are just as curious as we humans are, from the little sparrow to the enormous eagle.
They sometimes give me an indifferent look and continue preening their feathers, building their nest, fluttering among the flowers, or preying on their favorite insects. Others wait and sing, watching me out of the corner of their eyes and giving me some precious moments that I keep excitedly inside my camera and in my heart.
Some birds fly nervously and leave, but they might return if I give them enough time. Sometimes they come to check on me, but other times, they inform me that I am not a welcome visitor. With its screeching, flapping wings and staring straight into my eyes, they send me a loud and clear message. I realize that maybe they are nesting or feeding their chicks, so I leave, giving them back their space.
All these experiences come to me suddenly. I visualized what was ahead of me, the warm tropical rain, the thunderstorms that break out during the rainy season, the deep green forests, and the arrival of the migratory birds from the northern hemisphere.
I am excited to see the rivers filled with colored algae, the fantastic hummingbirds, the bright corocoras and toucans, the cocoi herons, and the masked trogons. So much to see, feel, touch, and listen to.