Late this afternoon, it rained. Drawn to its song and the cool sway of the wind, I went outside of the house and perched myself on top of the table at our small sari-sari store. I looked outside, at the golden sky that announced the unseen setting sun, and the scene that was slightly filtered with a dewy fade from the rain. I brought a book with me. I curled my knees in and stared out, getting myself involved in this natural scenery.
It brought back memories to the summers when I was still a teenager, when my parents went to work, and I was left alone in the house. On the events where there was summer rain, I’d seat myself at almost the exact same spot as where I was seated today. I was an onlooker to the sight, and I would bring my notebook; I would write.
Today, as I tried to follow the paths of several raindrops, and watched them collect themselves together into a puddle at the cemented road, then the puddle reflecting a dull gold that came from the sky, I could only think of the past few days, and the gratitude that was heavy in my heart that it had to collapse in those odd successions of a smile, a yes-nod, a little tear here and there that was quickly swiped.
I am grateful for answered prayers and immediate healing.
The other night I was worried sick of my mother who had cough and asthma and was having trouble breathing. On top of that, I was silently walking through a spiritual drought for weeks now. Something was just amiss, and I could not feel the spiritual sensitivity and warmth that had already become familiar to me. I prayed prayers that lacked depth, and were clearly disconnected. I was starting to be terrified. And yet, as we would say in our dialect, nagpabaga ko ug nawong (I had to be thick-faced and had to be shameless by continuing to pray and call to God, even when my heart was clearly distant). Because in truth, I could not stay away from God. I could not turn my back on our relationship.
I was starting to panic for my mother. That night I just had to do the one thing I needed to do, I prayed over her. I was unconfident in my prayers because of my spiritual drought, but I pressed my eyes closed, and I spoke boldly and unashamed. I just prayed, with all humility and sincerity.
The next day, miraculously, the cough and the asthma were gone. To me, that was a yes-nod from God, an I hear you answer, a Come back to me My arms are open for you invitation, an I will quench your thirst declaration. I pray still, asking for God to let me meet Him to heal this spiritual drought. I am grateful for my mother’s life.
I am grateful for shared pain and highschool friendships.
Yesterday, I went to the wake of my high school friend’s mother. I listened to her retell her story, and cried with her, and with her father. As I entered their house and sat at their couch, it brought back memories to when we were still fourteen-fifteen-sixteen-year-old girls, who spent hours at their house, ate food that her mother prepared, and watched movies while seated there on their couch while her mother would greet us and talk with us. I knew her mother’s voice and knew the way she spoke.
My friend and our small barkada have not consistently communicated nor seen much of each other over the years because we went to different schools in college, and then just gradually got “busier.” But as we talked that afternoon, there seemed to be no years lost. We were there as old friends—she, mourning for her mother; and, I, sharing the grief and the pain for a life that I also knew.
Highschool is such a tender age. You seem grown up, but not quite yet, so you and your friends had to spend so much time at each other’s houses, got to know and got taken cared of and had been looked after by each other’s parents. There’s something special in those relationships in your youth, a sharing of memories and families that no years could ever erase.
I am grateful for my cousin.
She is celebrating her birthday today. I am grateful for her humility and sincerity, the love and the warmth that she so generously gives and serves my Mamang and Papang. She takes care of them while I am away for work, and she loves them dearly like her own. I am forever grateful for her goodwill, and her beautiful heart. I am always in awe of her charity and generosity of herself, her service, her time, her plans, her heart towards my family.
I am grateful for Sue Monk Kidd’s Firstlight.
I finished reading this beautiful and personally special book today. I love it! Sue Monk Kidd prompted me to reflect on my own spiritual journey, scanning memories and pages I could find. It was her writing that inspired me to write again today.
I’d like to think that I am always grateful for a lot of things. Each day I try to find something that I am grateful for, but then there are those significant occasions that create lasting impacts of gratitude, that leave you breathless, silent, brimming, and drives you to get down on your knees to bow in humble gratitude.
Gratitude is an agent of healing, one that also comes from a well that quenches a spiritual drought, and moves you closer, lifts off the veil of shame that has covered your face, and lets you face God to personally thank and praise Him. Today, I did, with a backdrop of a faded golden sky and a soundtrack of rain.