It is early in the morning. The forest is slowly waking up, the mist slowly dissipating, giving an eerie feeling.
Frank is still sleeping while Matilda is cleaning herself after her breakfast. After doing my back-stretching exercises on the balcony, I sit on the mat to watch and hear the forest come to life.
I have my camera ready and a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee.
The forest is teeming with life.
This is the best moment of the day. I turn my head to the left, and I see the capuchin monkeys eating fruits beside the house. I hear their endless chatting with their gauge on the small berries and jump from branch to branch.
While I am still looking to the left, I hear some flapping of wings, and I see a flock of chestnut mandible toucans arriving, one by one, to a large tree dead ahead. I see them looking at the tree where the capuchins are. They are waiting for their turn in the fruit tree, but they do not dare to fly there yet. Not while the monkeys are there.
More flapping, and three large guans land on the same tree with the capuchins. They are not intimidated by the monkeys, as the toucans seem to be. They sit on the highest point of the tree and start eating the fruits. It is a large tree and has plenty of food. There is enough for everyone.
To my right, a flock of chachalacas has just arrived at the palm tree, which is almost touching the balcony. I can see them clearly while they eat the palm fruits -some kind of blackberries- while keeping an eye on me. They get a bit scared when I take the camera and start shooting, so they fly to the nearest tree for safety. They seem to decide that I do not pose any threat, so they slowly come back to the palm tree.
On top of one of the trees further away, I see flashes of blue—probably a mixed flock with tanagers and some honeycreepers. I can hear their chirping. I can also hear, in the background, the hummingbirds coming to the feeder in the balcony with their chip-chip sound.
I know it sounds as if I am making it up, but it is just happening in front of me. It is an extraordinary wildlife-rich morning. It might be because it rained during the night and the animals are keen on warming up.
But whatever the reason was, I suddenly have this enormous sense of gratitude.
We have been so incredibly lucky to end up in this house—a totally unexpected effect of Covid. And being in the right place at the right time. The owners of the JRC were quite worried that the houses would deteriorate because of the lack of use (no tourists) when we asked if we could rent one of the houses and live in La Ceiba. A win-win situation.
And so, we ended up living in the nature reserve and in this marvelous open house where one can see the forest from all rooms, for four months.
I can say that being surrounded by nature does wonders to the soul. While I am here, sitting on my mat, I had to think of a sign that I saw in a rescue center, and that is spot-on:
”There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but you will find a better connection.”
I wish I could live like this forever…I feel at peace with the world. At last.