Tell me who can What kind of goo can
Catch a toucan? Stick you to the toucan?
Lou can. Glue can.
Just how few can Who can write some
Ride the toucan? More about the toucan?
Two can. You can!
(The Toucan by Shel Silverstein)
I SAW ANOTHER TOUCAN ON MY WALK TO SCHOOL TODAY.
Actually, I saw two! They looked like they were on the lam from a zoo.
A good friend once teased me about my enthusiasm when I saw a deer in her backyard. She said it was because I was city girl. And I suppose that´s somewhat true, as my wildlife sightings in New York have been mostly limited to two-legged creatures, squirrels in Central Park and the occasional rat.
Does that mean my excitement over the local toucan is overblown?
I don´t think so. I prefer to believe that I am just not easily jaded.
I appreciate animals, nature and finding the ´´new´´ in the everyday.
One of the things I hated most about working in an enclosed glass-and-steel structure, pinned down under fluorescent lighting, was that I couldn´t breathe fresh air. Yes, I could take a break and walk outside. But it´s not the same.
When I can HEAR the outside, smell the rain or feel the sun on my toes as it streams through the open window… these sensations poke into my pores until they melt away the daily irritations and tickle the creative parts of my brain.
Because I am stationary for several months it can be easy to fall back into the ´´routine´´ of life, of working too much and forgetting why I left NYC in the first place. And I do have a routine of sorts here in Uberaba: I have an apartment. A boyfriend. We pay bills, clean our temporary home on the weekends and go food shopping. And six days a week I walk to school and teach classes all day long. Sometimes I am tired. Occasionally annoyed. At times, frustrated.
But mostly, I feel elated.
Excited to be living life outside my old comfort zone. The stress experienced from developing a new writing class from scratch was overshadowed by the zing my brain got from flexing unused muscles. The defeat I experienced over not learning Portuguese fast enough was pushed aside by the elation of speaking a few simple sentences to a girl at the market… and being understood!
I never tire of seeing the tropical wildlife here in Brasil, of hearing the birds squawk outside my classroom or even of just seeing the school kitty, Chiquinha, slink into my room with her young son romping behind, nipping at her tail.
Indian tribes believe the toucan represents communication and a strong desire to be seen and heard. And when a toucan it put on a totem pole, it´s considered a time to step forward, out of the shadows.
My decision to finally move abroad after so many years of dreaming was my step forward, out of the shadows.