Another year has again gone by. And age is surely catching up with me. But before I turn this entry into one of those sentimental, waah!-I-am-getting-older posts, happy holidays to everyone! Don’t we just love this season? A season of giving and loving and eating. And in my case, a season of going back to the neighborhood I grew up in.
As soon as vacation stepped in, I rushed home to Leyte. Ah, my neighborhood is still basically the same one I left four years ago when I decided to study in Cebu for college. Not many people would find my neighborhood very appealing but for someone like me who grew up there, every street, every tree, and every living mark of my childhood is precious to me. They hold a thousand memories forever carved in my consciousness. It can’t be helped that when you walk through all those things in the present, you recall your past. Once, when I passed by the small canal near our house, I nearly laughed my head off when I remembered how I unsuccessfully tried to do an acrobatic trick – walk across it using a flat piece of wood. Thing is, I was competing for space with a huge basin of water because that wood was actually used to hold basins when people get water from the faucet beside it. I tried in vain to walk around it with my arms spread out as if I were a bird. One problem with me, however, is that I have poor balance. Whoosh! The wood tipped to one side, dropping me into the canal with the basin of water tumbling after and over me. Not really my idea of a good bath.
When I also look at the banana trees in our place, it brings to my mind the days when my adventurous spirit overwhelmed me while my neighbors and I were playing a sort of Indiana Jones game. I grabbed one dead banana branch still hanging from the trunk. I tugged once. I tugged twice. Hah! Perfect. It’s intact. Summoning all my strength and the powers of Tarzan, I swung myself from the branch. I might as well have shouted, “A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-h….o-w-w-w-w!” As the branch snapped, I fell on my butt, and slid downhill. Oh well, so much for role-playing games.
It’s a refreshing and fulfilling experience altogether to realize you were once foolish, naughty, and clumsy. And even more surprising, when you find out you still are today. Whoever said that there’s always a child within us is a genius. And sometimes, it’s good to revert to the child we once were because in childhood, there is simplicity and wonder in how we look at the things in life. There’s always that spark, that magic that keeps us awed at how beautiful and fun life can be.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone. This season, let the kids in us shine forth with happiness and love, just like the child who was born in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, and brought us peace and salvation here on earth.