As I stepped out of our front door, out into the still dark early Monday morning, I was met by a chorus with a staccato tune of crowing roosters, accompanied by the towing of the century old church bell, signaling that the daily mass at dawn will soon to start.
With a mug of instant 3-1 coffee, I sat on my favorite wrought-iron chair in our terrace, and in my aloneness, serenity enveloped me. I could feel the gentle touch of the early morning air brushing my face; I could smell the distinct freshness of the early morning breeze filling my lungs.
Soon, the first rays of the sun will permeate the horizon, and in the seemingly deserted street in front of our house, town folks will be seen passing by, to start their daily routine: rush to work in the fields, or to whichever place they go to find their day-to-day means of livelihood. Each one of them will wave and flash a smile at me as they pass through. These town folks…simple people who very well know how to tend their farms and working animals, find happiness and contentment in whatever they raise to sustain and maintain their modest way of life.
Soon, I will hear the voices of children from afar; filling the air with excitement, while they share various stories with their friends as they leisurely walk in groups, going to the only public grade school in town. A surreal recollection crept over me…about four decades ago, I was on their same shoes. My first lessons in life, which started as an ember, was taught and learned from my humble home, from school, and from my friends and neighbors. And, as years go by, the spark became a blazing desire that light up my vision of the future.
Such a happy and carefree childhood memories, I always keep in the purkinje fibers of my heart, and from time to time, I still feel that urge to bring out the key to unlock its chambers, let my emotions trickle, while I reminisce those enchanting moments when I was growing up in a town, where everyone share the same spirit, the same emotional language, the same goal in life: that is, to better ourselves in whatever path in life we want to trace.
Only in Lezo, a small town in the province of Aklan, far away from the rat race of a busy and urban life, that I have experienced the real meaning of simple living, yet content; but with a touch of desire and hope for a better and bright future.
I have driven and traversed so many highways and byways, been to distant places, but my heart never stops to bear me to the path that makes a U-turn. Going back home is what I look forward to and recapture…the simplicity of life, then and now, in my beloved hometown.