“Happiness is not a matter of events, it depends upon the tides of the mind. ” -Alice Meynell
As i watch children at play, I can’t help but think of my own childhood and wondered where all the years, the memories and the laughter had gone away. I remember playing at the beach near our house in El Nido, gathering shells and those plastic scraps tangled with sea weeds washed away by the tides with
I can still feel the wind against my skin as we sit at the tiny balcony after supper of boiled fish and new rice, the moonlight adding to the flickering light of the gas lamplight. Secretly eating a contraband sweets, with my Mama and Papa talking
about distant future, I felt like the whole world has stopped turning, and there, right on that balcony, in an island where the only sound that breaks the silence of the night is the sound of tides kissing the sand, nothing can ever touch me.
I always look back at the moment as one of most real and sweetest memory of my younger years.
But as i learned later, Life really is a surprise waiting to happen. When i started High School, little cracks begun to appear on my tranquil world. Suddenly I have to leave that safety, the shells, the comfortable confines of my secure surrounding.
I had to travel 2 hours to my school on our watercraft on Sundays and go home on Friday afternoons. I hated this routines.
I was away from parents for the first time, to take care of myself and adjust to social challenges after being in a secluded life in the island where I know everyone around. Sometimes I pretend to be sick when its time to go back to school.
Not all summer brings sunshine and laughter. Our family had to go through problematic and disastrous episodes that looking back now, it all seems like a nightmare. Like watching a storm trying to destroy a house. Like dark ominous clouds in my mind’s horizon.
Darkness always left a scar. There was a point that I stopped dreaming, believing and wishing. I lost my perspective. The world became a very dark place for me.
I will not go further and bore you with all that details, it belongs in the past. I’m glad we survived all that, and stayed together through the storm.
Through all of this, God, in his infinite wisdom, took the helm and directed my life to where it’s supposed to be.
And it was never the same again.
My memories of High School are written in sepia tones, and blotted ink of calligraphy, the kind of pages that belongs to a special treasure chest, along with mementos and snapshots of moments past. Nice to look at, but of no real value to the present, except for lessons learned.
Fifteen years after, a lot had change, but as i look back, i chose only to think of those happy summers picking cashew nuts as reminder of that childhood.
Along with the changing of the winds, the season, faces, the tides brought new opportunities and took away things. Some of my childhood friends attended college in Manila and we seldom saw each other. Others never came back and instead found new shorelines.
I’d like to think that they’ve made better choices and have happy lives wherever they are now.
Me, I have dreamed awesome dreams, and wished amazing wishes, and it was all granted… Even ones I haven’t said aloud but kept in my heart. And all other life surprises I didn’t even asked for…beyond my mind can reach sometimes.
As my 29th birthday draws near, I promise to count my blessings. After all, not everyone has been granted to live this long.
And through the ever changing tides of this journey, I welcome another chapter. I look forward to bigger waves. Because I know, I am the captain of my own journey, and with God on the helm, nothing will ever go wrong.
May we all have a Long, Wonderful and Happy Journey!
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