Friday afternoon, I was waiting for my neighbor to pick me up at school. I still cannot walk right from a fracture I had so somebody would have to fetch me at school every day. So I was waiting for him, seated alone on a bench, and it was past five in the afternoon, when I noticed a flock of birds perched on the transmission line. It was a large group, maybe a hundred or more. Locally known as “lansang”, they were singing (or should I say making noise). It rained hard earlier that afternoon, and the wet grass, the smell of drenched soil and the song of birds were creating a pastoral atmosphere. It was peaceful, and so I sat there waiting, watching the birds. Watching the birds, oblivious to time and to the electricity, made me think of my own life and others as well. Life and time are two inseparable things.
It has been four months since I had a fracture. My left shin bone (the part below the knee) suddenly collapsed when I was playing badminton with my students. The x-ray revealed a large fracture in the front; more unfortunately, that bone is inherently weaker than normal. Let us say I was born with softer left leg. That is why my recovery took longer than usual. Already four months now and I still could not walk by myself; I got to grope for something so I could balance myself when walking.
Four months is very long, and though I spent all these time doing a normal life, I felt much had been wasted. My motion had been limited and life was not exactly like before. And as time passed by, many opportunities were lost.
Watching the birds, I could not help but wonder if I had not only lost four months of myself. But more? Or my entire lifetime? Time wasted on doing things I really don’t like. And time wasted on not doing anything at all. Time wasted when opportunities are neglected and rejected – opportunities for development, love, money, and better life.
Truly, time is not in our hands; yet we act as if it is. We plan everything, with all details and set deadline. But then we let go things as well, assuming that in the future, when we will be more prepared, we can finally accept chances once refused. And oftentimes, we chase cars only around our heads. Like they say, we feel regret once we look at yesterday, but so much dreaming and hope for the future. We dream, we plan, we work hard, only to be frustrated with the end result; and all the while, we become blind to things which can essentially fulfill us as a person.
I looked at the birds again. Do they plan their lives? Are yesterday, today, and tomorrow the same for them?
I laughed at myself. Sometimes I feel crazy about having thoughts like these. Or is it just simply human having such moments? LOL! But I love the peace. Only with peace that I can really talk, and more importantly, listen to myself. Because when there is so much “noise” surrounding us, it is hard to listen to ourselves.
I turned my gaze to the other side of the transmission line. More birds. Some were flying to and fro, and all around. It was beautiful. If time can be frozen, I would have done so. I would see more beauty then. And think more. Sadly, time is constantly running.
My fetcher finally arrived. It was already dusk. With less effort then, I boarded. The engine roared and the flock was disturbed. The birds flew away. They moved on. For they must fly. And so must I. And so must life. And time.