My girls might not know their multiplication tables by heart (and might never learn them), but I hope they will remember the smell of the ylang-ylang flower at 5 o'clock when it releases its divine perfume. They might never learn the rules of dodge ball in the school yard, but will know what the meat of a freshly pick young coconut taste like (and that it's especially yummy if it's your papa that picked it and opened it with his very own machete!). They have eaten sun-filled perfectly riped starfruit straight from the trees and picked cacao fruits and eaten the delicious sweet flesh surrounding the seeds. With a friend, they picked green mangoes (a delicacy in Central America), cut them, packaged them and sold them at the local market. They have picked black pepper from the plant and cashews (and ate the astringent fruit that sits on top of the smal hard shell where the "nut" that we eat is located).
:: Ylang-ylang flower ::
:: Cacao fruit (on top) and Cashew fruit ::
They will know the pleasure of going to the same market every week and see the same smiling faces, offering you a mango, a cookie, saving you her last little bottle of raw goat milk (in recycled Coke bottles)... They probably will not know what it feels like to wait for the summer holidays, for Spring break or for the Christmas vacations, because their life feels like a never-ending holiday... and I wouldn't want it any other way.
They know the smell of the Arizona desert after the rain, they know how wonderful the sun feels on their skin after 8 months of winter in the Yukon and how beautiful it is to see crocuses poke the bare land (and how much when you are 4 you really want to pick them all!). They have seen and smelled active volcanoes, have touched one of the biggest Ceiba tree of Costa Rica and soaked in the same hot springs at -30 Celcius at at + 30 Celcius. We have taken daily walks during which blue morpho butterflies came and flew around us at the same place every single morning. They have heard the particular call of the Toucan, the roar of the howler monkeys and the funny sound gecko makes... Sometimes, we just have to close our eyes and it all comes back... the sounds, the smells... We can travel together in our heads...
:: Waiting for the bus in Nicoya, Costa Rica ::
On top of that, they usually have the pools, the bike parks and play parks to themselves during the week. Actually, they have the world to themselves. They have the time and the possibility to really listen to the music of their own life.