ISSN 2330-717X

Stillness Of Time – OpEd


The walk to the mountain was worth it. I am on the zenith overlooking La Trinidad and part of Baguio City. Yonder, the coast of La Union seemed nearer than real.

Soaked in sweat, breathing hard, I count my heavy pants. My legs yearned to be stretched. Age is fast catching up.

Everything is still in front of me, except for a lonely cricket chirping, a step away, visible under the grass blades bending to adore earth. The empty expanse of space in front of me is inhabited by a lone, sun gliding swallow, wishing for the last rain, that may never come.

Even the hopper doesn’t move.

Far in the distance, the fading blue of the sea reflects to the sky, misleading, deceiving. The sky is a colorless space. The air molecules, yes oxygen, shine, sun lit to iridescent powder blue, taking form like a large fat fan covering space.

On the horizon, smaller hills proud of their skyline fill the lower fringes, royals, ceruleans, hints of purples and grays. Only the wind moves slightly, giving the colors more definition. I can see a ship or what appears to be a ship, on the point of empty hibernation. The shoreline is white, an artist’s wavy stroke. It just lies there, waiting to melt, and then reformed by onrushing waves.

Around me, just blades of grass and yes, the pine. They will be there forever. They may look lonely and unattached; each one motionless and green, They calm the spirit.

Stillness is all I see, as I view this sunset in one of its bests.

Stillness is all I feel. It is a different kind of calm for me – more pronounced than when I take quiet moments in my world of motion. This is quiet that permeates from the outside in; born from the stillness of the scene.

Nothing moves except that pine needles in the distance and the solitary swallow who takes flight every now and then. My insides feel the change. They have been tranquilized naturally, just by being present here.

I too have been slowed, by age, much to my great surprise. Not fond of warm weather, I usually contract and
withdraw from the elements. I realize that in doing so, I’ve missed opportunities to be quieted by the cold landscape, from the outside

But now I know.

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Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan

Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan wrote for the British Panos News and Features and GEMINI News Service, the Brunei Times, and US Environment News Service. In the Philippines, he wrote for DEPTHNews of the Press Foundation of Asia, Today, the Philippine Post, and Vera Files. A practicing environmentalist, he holds postgraduate degrees in environment resource management and development studies as a European Union (EU) Fellow at University College, Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a Fellow of Echoing Green Foundation of New York City. He now writes for Business Mirror and Eurasia Review.

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