so goes aunt benedicte (a very long engagement) as she quivers and smiles all over when she hears her dog fart. it was a difficult time for her i guess, as her nephew mathilde searches for her fiance manech at a time of war.
i have never been to war, i would have to hear a dog fart, and still would have to see if would indeed gladden my heart. but somehow these times have been occassions of gladness for me. i have pretty much remained and have become comfortable with melancholy for quite a long time now.
reviewing my mp3 songlists, you have: comfortable (john mayer), a few songs by james blunt here and there and a whole lot of jewel, alanis and indigo girls strewn all around. i would have to say, i've come to enjoy being sad. most of the time, it has been a solace to be feeling under the weather. even if my brave smile is flashed to everyone, my one little secret is to feel otherwise inside.
these days, however, there are more reasons to smile. not only from that wide grin on my face, but from deep within. it must've been the fire trees that stretch on the national highway in sta. cruz that have verified that i am happier now. probably, the merriest i've been in the past few years.
see, i've come to be introduced to fire trees in sagada, april 1998. it was my first out of town trip from manila. i was still quite young then, and my lust for adventure has not yet been unleashed before that sagada trip. when, i packed my bag, took a 14 hour trip from manila, i knew then that travelling as far as my feet can take me would be my greatesrt adventure.
though it was summer then, the cold weather in sagada might have caused the fire trees to flower. it was a marvelous sight with the backdrop of lush mountains teeming with the breath of cool air in that wonderful place i've come to love so well.
it has been everywhere in that little commune, that i have come to identify happiness with the blooming of fire trees. happiness, gladness, enjoyment, even to the extent of blissful existence. for every fire tree that blooms, i would remember sagada and my initiation to adventure. i promised myself to always smile and look forward to more travels and more roads to traverse, and more summits to conquer, and more companions along the road, when i see the blooming of fire trees.
since that fateful, holy week, i have kept my word to always break into a genuine smile whenever i see fire trees. though in the last 3 years or so, fire trees seem to have lessen their appeal. less, but still happy to have them around.
zoom back to last saturday, on the road home, passing by santa cruz.
when i saw the red crowns atop magnificent trees, i genuinely remembered the first smile i've had in sagada. its the happiness that is not chased but has arrived. it is something that did not come from something but perhaps from someone. it feels so authentic that it doesn't take much of an effort to be happy. no need for the beach, no need for flirting with someone, and definitely no need for booze!
its that feeling that calms down my over eager senses. it invites me to stay a while and listen to a faint music that must've lost its beat so long ago. it is the feeling of a hand to hold, a face to study, the scent of a woman and good company that somehow makes it real and stays on with me until the next time i see her.
i would have said, a few years ago that all happiness in davao came with a price. the price of leaving home, leaving someone and being left to my own devices somehow drives me to accept this dictum.
however, the fire trees in sagada reminds me that happiness is free. just being there and letting its beauty encompass and embrace my soul is reason enough to be one. there is no need to be extraordinary and great to get to that light feeling. maybe it is just appreciating what has been given and bath into the blessing of the moment. i learned that in sagada. and somehow, i've relearned it again in mindanao.i can't wait for this friday when i would be passing by fire trees country again. all the more reason to come home.
i should now change my playlist.