Friday, January 1, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon on a Panama Beach

I can't imagine seeing another New Year's Eve and night before New Year's Eve that was as beautiful as last night and the night before! Was it the Blue Moon? Since the moon was nearly full December 30, Chuck and I walked on the beach from my house to the condos. Between the warm ocean, full moon, low tide and tropical air it was sensory overload. We dangled our feet in the pool at the condo, chatted and watched bats and toads feeding on insects. On our return we spotted a firefly upside-down on the beach, exposing his blinking abdomen to us. Did he get too much sex or was he simply hit by a wave? After seeing the firefly, I said, "maybe we'll get really lucky and see an Olive Ridley sea turtle". As we got closer to my beach house, we saw 5 young men messing with something and following it to the ocean. My God! An Olive Ridley mama sea turtle returning into the ocean! The 5 Panamanians were harassing the turtle, and I asked them (in my broken Spanish) to leave her alone. They had bags with them (which I assumed were turtle eggs) that contained small crabs. I was later told that crabs sell for $1.50 for a dozen & taste terrible. It was even brighter New Year's Eve. We didn't see another turtle, but we did see another (the same?) firefly blinking on the beach, abdomen exposed to the sky. We walked from my house to Sharon and Ken Sample's beach party, complete with GREAT fireworks.
In case you are wondering about the stuffed karma dolls pictured above, they are called munecas (Spanish for dolls). The tradition (at least in this part of Panama) is to stuff a life size doll and place it in your front yard. The doll represents all the bad things that happened in the previous year. At the stroke of midnight, you burn the doll and send all that bad karma into the ether. Pretty cool traditions. We did something similar but different at the beach party. Sharon had prepared a batch of origami creatures that we wrote 2010 wishes on. We took them (like prayers) and tossed them into the bonfire.
Will I still be here for the next December 31 Blue Moon in 2028? I think so. I'll be 77 years old and still wandering this 16-mile long beach paradise.

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