Few dichos capture the essence of an entire culture. Usually, they represent specific feelings or experiences to be applied in certain contexts. However, every so often I come across an expression that encapsulates the Nicaraguan ethos.
Hay más tiempo que vida – There is more time than life.
On the surface, this dicho may not make any sense to you (I know it didn’t to me). However, after living in Nicaragua for over a year and a half, it’s starting to sink in. I see this dicho lived out by the ladies sitting outside in their rocking chairs, chatting with neighbors and passersby; school ending an hour early so the teachers can attend a vigil for a beloved community member; or walking an 11-hour pilgrimage instead of taking the 90 minute ride in the back of a truck. Although life may be short, that doesn’t mean we have to meticulously schedule every second in an inflexible quest to cross off tasks from ever expanding to-do lists. Instead, take time for what matters most, even if that means what you had scheduled for today doesn’t get done until tomorrow.