La Música de la Vida


Blind musicians outside cathedral in main plaza

Another full day on the streets of Cochabamba where women openly bare their breasts for their hungry children. They breastfeed while walking, talking, carrying groceries, crossing the traffic-filled avenue, sitting on their mats selling their wares — whatever is needed while they tend to the most natural every-day activity of nursing their little ones.

Most people don’t even notice.  I do.

But that’s because I seem to notice everything here. It’s as if I have recently regained my sight. And all my senses for that matter.

I’ll be walking along and all of a sudden some unusual scent fills my nostrils. Maybe it’s the sweet smell of unidentifiable flowers. Or the overpowering odor of raw sewage that affronted me one afternoon. Worse than anything I’ve ever encountered. I literally couldn’t take a breath until our vehicle was a few blocks away. And the sewage was located right up the street from an elementary school!

Then there are the colors that pop into view at every turn.  Quechua women wearing bright pink shawls with multi-colored stripes that bulge with the weight of their cargo– usually a baby. The school girls in their sparkling white uniforms that look like doctors’ coats. Yellow, pink, and red hibiscus plants that line neighborhood streets. Grand green weeping willows that hang so low their delicate branches brush my forehead as I pass.

Green. It’s definitely the predominant color in this city. Islands of trees and green grass flow through the middle of main avenues. Parks filled with topiaries and vibrant plants appear everywhere I venture. Palm trees tower above the street life.

And what life there is in Bolivia!

It came to me one day while I was sitting in the garden at the Maryknoll language school. What the richness of life here is like for me.

It’s like a full symphony playing inside of me. Not just in my head. In my entire body. And it’s waking me up to the music of life. I pray my eyes remain open.




About Pauline

I've been a freelance writer and editor for many years and I'm seeking to follow my heart in this stage of my journey, as the major roles in my life as wife and mother have changed. Not sure where this will lead, but I'm taking one step at a time as I listen within.

Posted on March 13, 2016, in Living from the heart and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Pauline, Thank you for keeping us posted on your journey. I can tell that your heart is being filled and your smile is becoming wider!


  2. Such vivid images, Pauline! Your vibrant descriptions make me
    feel as if I am wandering the streets of Cochabamba with you!



  3. What a blessing you are, allowing us to see and live this experience through you. I’m so glad your senses are awakened and you are learning and giving so much. Miss you lots and you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Many blessings.


  4. Michele Cavoti

    Wow! What insight you have and what talented words you write through which you share that insight. Thank you dear friend. Praying for you.


  5. Thank you, Debbie and Michele


  6. You have a gift for writing. I feel very drawn into your observations and reflections. I admire your faith to pursue what you feel called to do. You are in my daily prayers. Love, Alma


  7. I read your blog and I feel your joy.The words are so descriptive that I can close my eyes and see my brush painting in all that you have observed. xox, Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mary ellen knoblock

    ‘love seeing it all with you! mek


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