Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Summer Me With Birds, Beetles, Grasshoppers, Dragonflies, Tadpoles, Fireflies, and Tamarinds
This quote, from the Welsh tramp-turned-poet W.H. Davies, might as well be the theme for this blogpost.
I used it as opener because I thought it sounds philosophical as it is rhythmical.
And also because it blends well with what able-bodied nature-loving Filipinos (including your Isinay Bird) should be doing this summer.
TV weather reports say the noontime temperatures now average close to 37 degrees celsius (a few notches near boiling point!) in many places of the Philippines. Not only that, the “banas, alinsangan, sobrang init” will be with us for at least three weeks more.
What we should be doing is to give ourselves a break.
For once, let’s get out of our air-conditioned caves. Let’s go have a change of stale air, tiresome scenery, the same old people faces, and even the food and liquids we have been poisoning our systems with.
For once, let's give time and effort to go outdoors… where – as poets are wont to say – the skies are blue, the leaves are green, the water is crystal clear and cool, the fish are jumping, and the air is full of birdsong.
Time, indeed, to get away from the filth and the noise and the dog-eat-dog neighborhood we have been enduring for millenniums now.
Time to find a place – far from the madding crowd – to escape the sweltering heat in a way that will create sweet memories in the heart (if you belong to the young ones) or rekindle the dormant or almost forgotten ones (if you belong to the young once).
I know it’s not easy. But we might as well grab the opportunity to savor the birds, beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies, tadpoles, fireflies, and tamarinds – while we can, while our expiry dates are not yet looming in the horizon, while God's creatures and other blessings are still out there.
The down-to-earth writer and environmentalist Edward Abbey has put it so well:
"Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourself for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the environment; it is equally important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still there.
"So get out there...and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.
"Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound men with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.
“I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards. You will live to piss on their graves!"