Buen vivir...

On an evening with spotting rain, I set out to the small mangrove surrounded bay where my boat lies at her mooring.  It was too late for my purpose but I continued to the vessel.  Boats are complicated.  They need a remarkable amount of work and yet, as we all know "there is nothing, simply nothing, like messing around in boats".

I climbed down to the engine room.  Opened the water inlet, and switched on the engine starting batteries.  In the wheelhouse I stabbed the starting button and woomph...away she went.....good! The batteries will be charged in an hour.  And woomph it was for there, under the funnel, and partially in the water, a mass of small sticks, cattle egret feathers, and elegant mangrove stems lay disarrayed.... I was amazed and then concerned... it must have been a nest of some sort but who is here on the boat?  And the builder, was it now in orbit?  Or worse still, dead?!

It was a mystery.  In the darkness I later retreated through the mangroves to the house.  Several days later I was inspecting the boat and decided to make sure the batteries were OK. I had just turned on the water and was about to start the engine, when a small bird alighted on the rigging with nesting material in its beak.  It was the engaging endemic flycatcher, beautiful in clear, lemon-coloured breast feathers and large bright shining eyes.  It flew directly to the funnel and vanished inside. 

You have the background now.  Was it to be woomph again?  I stayed my hand to think.

Buen vivir © Godfrey Merlen What an eagle-sighted land bird to note that out on the water there was an island with the PERFECT nesting hole.  Moreover a place totally free from predators like the introduced Black and Norwegian rats and native snakes.  In addition with the pouring rain of the previous weeks, it would be free from the damp... and it hadn't given up even when the whole nest had been ejected with considerable force a few days ago.

I admired the bird...and then there was the ecological side.  I observed the exit of the funnel.  Black and sooted with the charred remains of carboniferous trees... an emitter of global warming CO2 gases.  Was it my right to oust the bird from its chance of a successful nesting..... for my needs, or perceived needs?  It was contaminating nothing, all was recyclable.  By now the bird had come and gone many times in its determined effort to build a new nest.  Twigs, pieces of bark, a couple of small green leaves.... I could put a piece of wire netting over the hole to stop the building.  

In Ecuador there is a new expression  "buen vivir" (good living), words derived from a much older wording of indigenous peoples... Sumak Kawsay.  It is in the New Constitution. It is a right and a responsibility.  It does not refer to two cars in the garage or holidays in the sun.  It refers to being at peace with yourself, with nature.  I think it is probably a truth to say "be kind to nature and you will be at peace with yourself".

So the engine is silent and the two little birds, for the male turned up to examine progress, will have their nest, and if the young have difficulties to get to the shore I will help them, yet I believe that this is not a problem for the distance is not so far for these agile flyers. 

I am at peace with the decision.  My "buen vivir" full.