Written by Fidgit
We had already burned through one of the two months for which we had Richard. Our northbound plan was not panning out and amidst internal turmoil, I was desperately trying to reassess.
Mercifully, we had connected with one of our Instagram supporters, who invited us to rest at her home in Puerto Armuelles, Panama. As the Caribbean continued to prove moody, we packed everything up and, two buses later, she and Brahm met us at the tiny bus port, loaded all our gear into their little SUV, and gave us not only space but also lent listening ears, words of wisdom, peaceful reveries watching the birds, delicious spaghetti, and open arms with sincere hugs as often as I needed.
From the Instagram post I wrote about this interaction:
Still waters run deep. This is the phrase which comes to mind when I reflect on this particular #internationalwoman. Lucie can’t remember when she happened upon our Instagram account but she has been a source of gentle encouragement for years. Now, as I muddle through a time of struggle and vulnerability, low of spirit, she appeared in person to catch me.
And I am not the first soul she has caught. As a youngling she was enthralled by the book series Cherry Ames, about a traveling nurse. “I want to do that,” she decided, and at 17 years old, she became a nurse. But that position demanded a high degree of subservience and she wanted independence.
She wanted to be a midwife but such was not widely practiced and not yet legal in her native Canada. When a German mid-wife moved to the area, she trained under her. Then she traveled to Scotland to study. In 1994 she was on the forefront of getting midwifery legalized in her region which was the first region in Canada to legalize. It took some pressing and her husband Brahm coaxing to get a number but at the most modest of estimates, she has caught more than 1500 babies.
These days, she and Brahm are retired and travel between Canada and Panama. They watch over the birds of the neighborhood, she sews and he whiddles and together they have spent the past weeks hosting wanderers. Their fire-spinning giddy-warrior daughter Maia and her partner were visiting and on the day before they left, we arrived to their home, travel weary and, for myself, feeling beaten down and fearful.
They provided a space of respite where I could regroup and replan our approach to these next months of the journey. They never pressured, only cared, supported, and imparted the wisdom of experience and honored us with utter transparency. They helped me heed parts of myself which I had been suppressing. They hugged me and reminded me I had value even when I wallowed, bore witness as I broke down, and when I came up for air from that, encouraged me forward.
There are not words enough to thank you, Lucie. I will endeavor to do so with my actions.
They also introduced us to Robin, an avid kayaker, who spent a day teaching us how to surf on the waves in front of his beautiful beach house. He had the skills of decades of experience and the spirit of a teenager. It was a blast, and we learned a ton. Felt our skills increase exponentially in such a short time and, for the first time in my life, I successfully rolled!!
From there, nestled in their care and with the time to reflect, we DID come up with a new plan. And before we departed to return to the journey, each of them applied their skills and passions to make us each a beautiful gift. She sewed little zipper bags and he whittled us “kayak spoons.”
So, what is the new plan, you might ask?