me humbled by he wisdom

Air droplets No Comments

I am ashamed because I know you are Education students…and you have systems in teaching…[are] taught systems in teaching. I know you are better teachers than me. All I know is that I research a lot. I don’t research for grades…I am retired. I don’t research for money—sometimes I research for things that don’t even directly benefit me…. I am just in a quest for truths. [emphasis mine]

Cesar Ruiz Aquino

(literature class, Jan. 21, 2009, 5:19pm, Silliman University)

Giving in, giving up.

Optimism No Comments

Everything is just in red, or brown, or gold, and all lovely. This is my first Autumn and I fell for it. Fallen leaves sprinkled on sepian ground seem to whisper some forgotten truths once they’re being crushed under by a pair of walking feet.

Yes, crushed.

Autumn is a humble season. She may not have the splendor of Spring, or the energy of Summer, nor of the heavily dramatic pouring of snow in Wintertime. But she certainly possesses humility in all her being. Leaves gladly kissing the ground—where tall trees sprout from little seeds—re-nourishing it even if it means withering, dying. Well, Autumn is a story of death. However, her story of it is something beautiful, and good, even optimistic—far from the death that spells hopelessness and tragedy. Fall’s telling and retelling of death is filled with so much humility that this little moron who’s trying to grow up by loving goodness in all its forms has felt its simplistic serenity to be full of wisdom. I feel this different kind of joy brought about by the falling leaves, by the cold, lazy breeze, by the wisdom that they tell about death; I feel this joy that is more akin to silence, even sorrow, than merriment. Yet, unlike sadness it doesn’t pierce my heart, instead, it strengthens it. You see, humanity is so afraid to even acknowledge its mortality that it cannot accept its failure in overcoming death. But Fall gives in to death every year, for Winter to arrive, for the completion of every other season, for the balance of nature, for the continuation of existence, for life. See, she gives in to death because of life.

If we only learn from her, then we wouldn’t be so terrified by our mortality—of our being “tourists” of life. This realization came out of my acceptance that once, I was not ready for the concept of forever, or, that after I’d learned about it, I became afraid to lose my ephemeral me, because I was afraid of what I didn’t and still do not completely understand, of what I didn’t and still do not absolutely have power over with. It’s not so easy to give up what one’s so comfortable with; it’s not so easy to give up something that one believes to have some knowledge about, or have some control over with, for another thing that one hasn’t even had the chance to experience—unless the other is given up. But humble Autumn accepts her defeat over death—trees wither and give up their leaves, to nourish the ground and make it fertile again for the coming Spring, for a new life. This gives her strength to accept withering and dying, and the crushing of her leaves.

It’s not easy for me, but I struggle to give up everything for what really matters. If I cannot do it this Autumn, well, another Autumn will come, and I hope my heart will listen more to her wisdom, to the whispers of her leaves under my feet when they say, “We are not just a story of death, we are also a testimony of life.”