THIS IS A STORY that happened last night while I was sitting on a long empty bench taking my time to drive my depression off before going home for a goodnight sleep. I’m all right here waiting, listening, observing the flow of my life. I was trying to relax and this is what I usually do before heading home. I come here almost every night for the splashes of the water from a nearby fountain is so pleasing to the ears. They wash away all the stress of the day. They make me feel somehow refreshed though the night is always humid. The air is forever warm for it’s almost summer now and the splashes of the water just invites me to dive in. The whooshing of the leaves as the warm breeze blow them is so relaxing. It’s driving me back to the good old days.
I’VE BEEN KISSING my depression good-bye. I’ve been doing a lot of effort to drive it away and heal, move on and have a fresh start all over again but it just seems like depression is just so at home in my heart and it’s not going away. Or, at times, I’m able to cope up, it comes back. It keeps on coming back. I just can’t completely let go of it no matter what, and I so hate this. I really hate this. I don’t deserve this. Despite all the failures I made in the past, I guess I must have also done something right. I’m so tired of my situation when it just keeps coming back surfacing from within every now and then. So in silence, I asked God to help me. I was silence for few minutes before I started writing.
THANKS TO THIS RANDOM man who walked to me today right on the same spot where a friend met me two days ago, and he chased my depression away. It just started with asking if I have time for an NGO survey about people’s opinion regarding donations for government educational and livelihood projects and I said yes, and the conversation started. It lasted for almost 20 minutes and it felt like just less than 10 for me for he was so courteous and polite in asking questions and I enjoyed giving him long answers. He also knew how to make small talks and I enjoyed it. We’ve also talked about almost anything under the sun and we jived. It was a very nice conversation. Right after the survey, he bid good-bye and right after he left it was the only time I noticed that the night was no longer young and that I had already stayed longer than I should here and that it’s getting late now and really have to go.
FOR ANOTHER INSTANCE, here came another man and this time, he’s more like a father who tried to sell me something. It’s actually a therapeutic oil for he said, he’s sick and he needed to sell them to earn extra money for his medication. I didn’t really need it and I found a lot of passers-by and other random individuals also sitting on other long benches so I refused. I just explained to him politely and he didn’t really forced me to buy his product. And when he left, I told myself that I really have to go now for I can’t stay here any longer. Another random person may approach me again. Then so I started walking.
AS I WAS WALKING few distance from the park, I saw from a distance an old lady begging a lot of passers-by for a coin of gesture. I could walk ahead or walk away from her direction just to pass her through but something from within push me to go to her, in which I did.
AS SOON AS SHE saw me walking toward her, she immediately looked straight into my eyes as she quickly raised her right hand to beg for a coin though I was still few distance away. When I saw her eyes, something I can hardly explain happened to me. It’s like there’s an impact and it’s so strong. I felt pity for her immediately like my heart was crumpled all in a sudden. And when I saw her palm opened for a coin, I felt like my skin just turned inside-out. On her palm I saw a lot of lines drawn from my yesterdays. It was like my whole past was all written on her hands and how mixed up and jumbled those lines were was how upside-down my life was. Something from the back of my head kept on telling me to give her something worth driving my depression off and yes, I did. I actually gave her a worth bill and when I handed it, she acted like she didn’t expect it. Her eyes watered and turned red and her hand slightly shoke as she crumpled the bill strongly on her palm like she’s scared to lose it. Despite the gesture, the words she gave out touched me even more. She said that she’s so thankful I passed by and that may God bless me for my heart was clean for I voluntarily approached her unlike others whom she begged with yet they can’t even dare to pick a lousy cross-eyed coin from their pocket. She also said that she’s been begging for hours now for she just wanted to go home yet the coins she collected was still not enough. I didn’t really add up to that anymore instead she made me think for a little while. I just gave her a slight smile and continued to walk right after she sincerely said, “Thank you, my child!”
AS I WAS WALKING, my mind kept on turning. She made me realize some things I should have realized long ago. She made me feel so human again. Even way before I approached her. She already made me wonder what she’s doing in there. Seldom. Very seldom along Ayala Avenue where you’ll see a beggar for most passers-by are mostly businessmen in coat and tie, bank tellers in their uniform, Call Center people in corporate attire and random mall individuals who are opt for shopping. It’s a business center and once a beggar gets there, it only means that they’re lost and that they just cannot go home that’s why they beg.
AS I KEPT ON WALKING, her sincere old face kept on surfacing from the back of my head and I kept on seeing the lines on her palm wherever I turn. My heart was getting heavier than my knapsack and my eyebrows kept on crossing without me noticing it.
THAT WAS THE THIRD TIME I was able to encounter a random individual last night. but that third one just changed how I feel, drove my depression away and changed my whole perspective in life all drastically. It was just a lousy bill I gave her yet for her, it was already a lot and her sincere smile kept on coming back to me.
MY POINT HERE IS THAT, we don’t have to force ourselves to be happy. We don’t have to force ourselves in getting what we really want for in one way or another, even through small little things, happiness may come along the way at their least expected figure. Anything could happen outside if we’ll just care to observe from small little things to random gestures from random people, we may experience it and we never know that it’s already coming or that we just experienced it unless we realize it.
AND ANOTHER THING I realized from what happened last night was that, we people are so keen to perfection. We depend our happiness on perfection. Just like the first man who came to me whom I sincerely entertained for he’s all dressed up in corporate attire, good-looking and very professional. I quickly made a conclusion that, hey! I should entertain this person for he’s wholesome and I know I’ll be safe not knowing that there’s still another individual from a few distance who was actually more in need of time. I mistakenly judged the three random persons on how they looked like not knowing that looks can sometimes be very deceiving. Beauty is always found within., as she told me and I can never forget, that my heart was clean and may God bless me.
IS MY HEART REALLY CLEAN? Do I really have good intentions at most times? It was just a lousy gesture yet it already meant a lot to her. Like how she made me realize how for so many endless nights I gave up for life and wanted to end everything up yet there she was, out on the street, dying to live, begging to send her home. She made me realize that how strong my depression was, was how mixed and jumbled the lines on her palm were yet, she still managed to smile and be thankful for small little random gestures. She had no idea yet, that bill was like my bale and she just set me free.
I NEVER KNEW who she was and I never know if I’ll still be seeing her ever again but, in return for that lousy bill was a change on how I look at life forever.