------------------------------------------------------I started the day with the usual early morning walk up-down the slopes and round this residential area one of many dotting the hills of Antipolo. Gazing round I could say that nothing has changed really. The houses look the same, the people do the same things every morning, the trees are still there, and the same black Doberman ‘greets’ me with a booming gruff bark as I pass his private domain. Thank God for the huge steel gate this keeps him from tearing me up to pieces lolz. Anyway as I continued my walk with those thoughts, these words came into mind ---
“While we flatter ourselves that things remain the same, they are changing under our very eyes from year to year, from day to day.” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
So--- where then is this change I do not see? So I stopped walking--- let my eyes roam seeking that ‘change’ so spoken of. Fortunately I stood on a high vantage point which allowed me a good vista of my neighborhood—my place called home. From my left I saw all sorts of trees – tall, in various shapes and sizes, and in the deep darkest of green. But wait…the color seemed to have gone lighter in spots. Are those new leaves sprouting? How interesting! Whoa! Is that a new paint on Mr. Benny’s gate? -- Didn’t see that before. Hey, somebody’s building a new house down at the end of the road. Why didn’t I notice that?! Oh boy, what used to be a vine of flat disc-shaped leaves draping the fence of a friend’s house, now has white blossoms in its midst. Lovely! I almost missed it. I continued my survey of the now interesting landscape of nature, houses, and people before me. My eyes hovered over the area like radar seeking out unfamiliar objects but this time with fresh anticipation of something new. I was greatly rewarded with priceless treasures that no longer stood hidden to me but was revealed by my willingness to see.
Yet my curiosity was even more aroused when I began to wonder – apart from things, just what change goes on inside the person. I smiled at the thought of immense possibilities that could transpire in the minds and hearts of people. Indeed, subtly or visibly, change happens outside of us and within us no doubt. Because things and people grow – develop. Change is growth. Life is all about change – is all about growth – is all about us moving from one place to another. In that movement we leave behind bits of our layers and at the same time take on new ones sprouting to replace the old. We evolve, transform, progress, improve, mature, and learn-unlearn-relearn. This is our change. This takes place under our very eyes from year to year, from day to day.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ---- (Henri Bergson)
Well, I think this morning's walk gave me more than I had hoped for. I was proceeding down the slope heading for home when Mrs. Reyes, the neighborhood gossip, saw me and engaged me in a chat or should I say ‘gossip’. Not wanting to be rude I let her have her ‘chat’. Anyway, this lady is part of the ‘landscape’ too lolz. As she babbled away, I listened and intently watched her face. Wrinkles etched deeply at the corners of her eyes-- and silver locks of hair mingled with her usual dark tresses. ‘Changed’, I thought.
“You know I saw Mia’s daughter the other day at the mall. Remember she got married to this young army officer the other year? She’s your godchild, right?” spoke Mrs. Reyes breaking up my thoughts.
“Yes, so how is she now?” I replied.
“Oh but she hasn’t changed a bit. She has remained the same girl we knew so well when she was here living with her mom.”
“Remained the same? How wonderful!”… And I smiled.
But of course I knew better. Things and people may remain the same – but not really. At that point, I took my leave and walked on home. Rounding the corner I looked back briefly and there she was ---‘chatting’ with another friend. Maybe some things do not change – but then again not really.