The World I Knew

I woke up to a sweet sound of music and hurriedly dug underneath my pillow to search for my phone, but was surprised that it’s not my alarm that’s ringing. What time is it? Is it the weekend? I sluggishly drew the drapes of my window and stepped outside to my balcony. Oh, it is my neighbour that’s chirruping, a bird which settled its nest at the top of the tree next to my apartment. I looked up and saw the clear blue sky, so blue like it was painted new. The weather is nice, the street is quiet, and the breeze feels great on my skin.

I went back inside to take a shower, get some breakfast, grab a book, and brought it outside. I think it was a nice time to read “The Time Keeper” and in between pages, I remember the world I used to know.

The world where greed and money ruled the streets. The people living in it were selfish and insatiable. Our thirst was never quenched that we built skyscrapers to reach the sky, so high like our ambitions and desires. Our plates were full but we looked for more. It was also a world where the other half of the planet was hungry, stripped with hopes and dreams, and begged for death to escape tribulation, or took their own life because they felt alone in the middle of the room, with all the people they know.

It was a world where people sat around a dining table but never spoke. Their phones were held up high taking photos to show off the world they were never broke but deep inside their relationship ain’t that colorful either. Parents ignored their children and wondered why they grew up unhappy, always asking for monetary. Rather than talking with them, kids had phones instead. And while their faces turned square, their hearts pumped in queer. Laughter was all forged and words were never sincere. They never realised that darkness was already creeping inside their homes and everyone was destined to be doomed.

Everything was also easy. We don’t know how to cook for we can get food online so quick. One click and the food is on its way. And since we always get more than we need, all the rest gone to waste. And there goes the value we didn’t see.

It was a world where nature was exploited. The air was thick and dark. We complained how it hurt our lungs but we never left our cars behind, nor initiated to run in the park. The streets were jam-packed so we hopped on a plane, and although how high we flew, the air was not entirely free of dust, and we still coughed. Our seas were full of rubbish, our plastic-use never neared the curb. So every time we pulled out a fish, at the end of our rod was a package. Rainforests experienced fire, and while some were caused by nature, some simply lit a fire. It was suffocating the Earth.

Then one day, everything changed…

In 2020, it took a virus to control the greediness of humans. Stock markets plunked down, businesses closed, the streets were empty, the pubs were silent, gatherings were cancelled, even the ones in church. The skyscrapers were standing in deserted towns, the car keys gathered rust, and everyone tried to stay home. We realised that in the middle of this crisis, our health and family can never be bought by money.

Suddenly, people started singing, calling their loved ones, baking, painting, exercising, reading, sewing, and some just tried to enjoy their time in meditation. Thank you was always a word of mouth and bowing was a sign of gratitude. The value of long distance relationships was seen and those who lost contact started ringing. The number of deaths was horrible but the thankful ones remained and started praying. People promised that once this is over, they’ll gonna embrace life and give new meaning to their existence.

And in all of these… the Earth has its time to breathe.

There’s a reason God limits our days. Why? To make each one precious.

Right. I couldn’t agree more. And if there is a lesson I am trying to grasp at this time, it is to be patient and see the world in a new stance.

After taking a long breath, I smiled and closed the book. I took my phone out and dialed a number…

“Hello, Pa? Kumusta ka?”

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