Tuesday, 15 February 2011


It has been raining monsoon style for a good part of two days now, which made yesterdays planned boulder hop unwise. When I got to the checkpoint up the river I was only allowed to pass if I promised not to try and cross the river at the damn because the river was high and flowing fast.

Promise I did. Baby steps most of the way up the trail as I tried to stay upright on a path that had turned into a muddy skating rink. I found a dry patch of concrete at the damn and had a good think as I watched the water flow.

I ponder the multitude of Butterflies and Dragonflies I have been gifted to see in the past little while. If a great spirit (pick a religion and insert your reference) is sending me missives, then what message am I being offered over and over?

Well butterflies are symbols of transformation and of the soul according to many cultures. It's a process of metamorphosis which represents the changes we undergo during our lifetimes and the necessity to grow and learn.

If the butterfly undergoes total change multiple times, and emerges at the end as a creature of such beauty and grace, then it follows that I am being encouraged to accept and celebrate the changes that have happened, and are coming, to my life. Changes in my physical world and the growth and evolution of my sense of understanding and being.

I particularly liked this quote "Our responsibility is to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly as the butterfly. "

Acceptance of reading glasses is another thing altogether.

And the Dragonflies? In Native American culture they are said to represent the souls of the dead, and are symbols of change, victory, power and prosperity.

In wider circles they represent powerful force, renewal and the power of life. I like this description: "He is a symbol of the sense of self that arrives with maturity." (finally... score one for getting older!) "As a creature of the wind, he represents change. One of his lessons is to live life to the fullest because his own is brief."

Dragonflies are also considered creatures of the water, and in the animal world creatures of the water carry symbolism relative to the subconscious. "Dragonflies carry messages that deal with deeper thought - and they ask that we pay attention to our deeper thoughts and desires."

This seems fitting since I am forever rooting around in my mind to find the meaning behind the meaning. It crosses my mind that if this is delivered in a stunningly beautiful package that flits around lightly then perhaps the message is that I can explore life's meaning and have a happy life at the same time? Novel concept. I like it.

And while I am on the subject of animal symbolism let's explore the Gecko, another beauty that makes frequent (especially of late) appearances around me.

Geckos have a number of stories and traditions associated with them. Most often they are considered to be a sign of good luck and a symbol of keeping one eye on the past while focusing the other on the future. Other symbolisms include the release and regeneration of the gecko's tail. This is representative of the self preservation and regrowth people go through after trials.

Eerie really.

Here's what I have come up with:

Changes in my life that have happened and are coming are to be embraced,
and the souls of the dead are making an appearance,
and in their beauty can only represent encouragement.
Then with wisdom and forethought,
I should release the past while learning from it,
And embrace the future as a stronger, more powerful force.

What do you think? Did I nail it?

Back to the damn...

There were people crossing the damn, which was running a good foot higher than normal. A trickle of locals, barefoot, balancing carefully and gingerly feeling for toeholds made me glad I was not attempting the crossing. (It's just too early in the trip to be breaking something and / or drowning.) Many were carrying sacks filled with food gathered upriver... bananas and guava etc. Reminded me that many in this area rely almost exclusively on the jungle for their sustenance.

I made my way back down the path, passed the park ranger who thanked me for not crossing the damn, and strolled back to the hostal.

Total time elapsed 4 hours
Butterflies: dozens (I got photos!)
Dragonflies: dozens
Geckos: 3
Really cool irridescent green Lizzards: 1
Naked children playing in the river: 0
Pretty little yellow birds: 4
Pretty little blue birds: 2
Huge black birds with long tail feathers: lots
Other cool looking tropical birds: lots
Frogs: 0
Ants: really?

Back at the hostal I lazed in my hammock while being entertained by the resident Parrots, one of which deemed to perch next to me so I could scratch his neck while his feathers all fluffed out. The resident cat decided to settle down on my lap and I read for a while.

Laundry, skype, trip planning. Dinner. Bed.

Loud latin music blaring most of the night.

Today... planning, packing, writing.

The photo posting problems continue this trip. It is very frustrating not to be able to share my pics with you.

Time for dinner. If you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there!

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