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P1500266 flower potsFrom The Valkyries:

“…Paulo said, “I want you to pay close attention to the people who pass by.”

She did as Paulo had asked.  In the next half hour, only five people passed by.

“What did you see?”

She described the people in detail – their clothing, approximate age, what they were carrying.  But apparently that wasn’t what he wanted to hear.  He insisted on more, trying to get a better answer, but couldn’t do so.

“Okay,” he said. “I’m going to tell you what it was that I wanted you to notice:  All the people who passed by in the street were looking down.”

They waited for some time before another person walked by.  Paulo was right.

“Gene asked you to look to the horizon.  Try that.”

“What do you mean?”

“All of us create a kind of ‘magic space’ around us.  Usually it’s a circle with about a fifteen-foot radius, and we pay attention to what goes on within it.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s people, tables, telephones, or windows;  we try to maintain control over that small world that we, ourselves, create.”

The Valkyries – Paulo Coelho
street monkeys in jobo tree 05 up Let’s Be Wild prompts us to “Look Up” this week.  Photographers and artists often look way beyond that 15-foot circle mentioned in Paulo Coelho’s book, The Valkyries.     Sometimes we are rewarded with refreshing surprises, like these young boys scampering in the ‘jobo’ tree in search of ripe plum-sized fruits.

Luis could not stop painting!  Jama Ecuador

Luis could not stop painting! Jama Ecuador

Once when briskly walking toward home, I sensed that something was a tiny bit amiss as I passed a ‘garrobo’ tree.  I stopped and peered over my shoulder and was delighted with my discovery!

Read the post about Luis in the (above) tree here! The Highest Of Arts

Years ago while living in Costa Rica, I discovered that the resident jaguar had shadowed me home one full moon night after a rainstorm.  She left random footprint-calling cards along the muddy trail home then circled my studio before marching away.   After that, my friends often teased me to ‘watch out’ for the jaguars when I walked home at night.  One friend reminded me to look up when I passed beneath the towering trees that lined my moonlit path.

I never pondered that a jaguar might be perched above my trail and plotting novel ways to spook the gringa!  After that, I always remembered to scan not only the overhead branches, but also a circle much wider than 15 feet!

P1270415 i love this tree z upThe resident cats often left subtle hints that they were still watching over me, though the howler monkeys were always more obvious.  At times they were like attention-craving children and demanded that I come talk to them.  Once while raking leaves, I heard puppy-like whimpering sounds coming from the nearby branches of the saman tree.

If one looks up, many times the howlers are quietly observing.

If one looks up, many times the howlers are quietly observing.

Three precious young monkeys were peering down at me!   A huge smile crossed my face, and I greeted them!  “Hey!” and then mocked their sounds.

We studied one another for a short time, and then I said, “Well, sorry, but I have work to do.”  

I resumed raking, and my fan section protested with more loud whimpering.  I stopped again, whimpered back, gave them a few more minutes of time, then returned to my rake.   They whimpered a third time. I turned and smiled and said, “Sorry guys, but I have work to finish, and then I am leaving.”

How lucky I am that they taught me those sounds, as now I can summon the little ones!  The adult monkeys aren’t too happy when that happens, but they all seem to trust me.   Looking up rewards me with great moments.monkey y baby up monkey P1030062 cropped up monkey 02 earth - monkey grrr up monkey fly howlers P1130414 YIPPEEEEE up

He sails through the air with the greatest of ease! (Costa Rica Howler Monkey)

He sails through the air with the greatest of ease! (Costa Rica Howler Monkey)

Switching from mammals to birds, I  have a wealth of riches here along the mangroves on Rio Jama in Ecuador.  The birds distract me hourly, and I often abandon all tasks for the joy of observing the majestic beauty of the birds.

P1480854 night heron P1480853 night heron P1480847 frigates up P1480820 FRIGATESOARS up 0 cattle egrets and night herons P1460969 up P1480770 egret up

Experiencing the magic of an eclipse is always a reward for looking up!  I’ve braved cold temperatures to witness an eclipse, and I’ve enjoyed basking under a Carl Sagan night in tropical climates.   This particular eclipse provided a beautiful memory for my friends and me in Costa Rica.  Solstic Eclipse
eclipse 02 (1) up eclipse 06 (1) eclipse up P1230428 LOOKING UP nicaragua up

While you’re out and about look beyond your comfort circle and remember to LOOK UP!  Thanks, Let’s Be Wild, for another great challenge!  This also is perfect for this week’s WordPress Weekly Challenge for UP.

Have a good week, everyone!