It's been exactly one week since that warm, windless night in Apo Island. I can still remember the sound silence made, that steady, eerie droning at my eardrums. The droning that had a strange rhythmic quality, much like a heart beating, that it was difficult to tell if the sound was merely silence or the systoles and diastoles of my own heart. The moon was round and bright, but not full. It had a pale yellow hue, casting a faint silvery light on the still Dumaguete waters. The sky was cloudy, shyly revealing telltale traces of a brewing storm. The gentle timidity of darkness only afforded us a few stars, but they were enough to make the night beautiful.
The light the moon cast over the waters was breathtaking. Right in front of us was a company of dancers all dressed in silver, partying on the water, dazzling us with an enchanting number. A performance that was magical, made more charming because of its evanescence. Much like the flickering lights in the city, but with an added beauty from the harmony of the moon, the water, the breeze, the stars and everything that was there and that was not. By midnight, the ocean in front of us became a gigantic stage lit up by a huge spotlight from heaven. That was my moment. That singular point in time when everything in the universe just seemed to conspire to please me. At that time, I would have jumped off the porch, ran into the ocean, kicked off my shoes and walked on water.
I should have.
But I'm still here. I'm back in the office. After exactly one week, I am thinking back on that evening wondering why life goes on this way. It's an exhausting, endless journey of disappointments and joys, beauty and ugliness, passion and emptiness. I think that if all of us will scrutinize our lives closely, examining every tiny detail, we will realize that the most part of it is dull, empty, useless, even painful, worthy of forgetting. Life, after all, becomes a long, sad, chore that we should perhaps get over with as soon as we can.
But then there are moments. Moments when we become most hopeful, when we suddenly rediscover that the world is beautiful. Sometimes these moments last for hours. Sometimes, they last long enough for us to say a prayer of thanksgiving. But sometimes, like many of mine, they are transient, lasting only for one single breath. One breath when you become a witness of a miracle, a revelation of time itself. That one breath when the ephemeral greets the eternal, when the surreal meets reality, when the present crosses over to become a memory.
Those moments make life worth all the trouble. Those moments make every journey worth the nastiest post-travel depression ever imaginable. This evening, I pace around my office, stroll around Ward 1 and Ward 3, walk around PGH. The moon is round and full and orange now. There are no stars. All I hear is the loud droning of vehicles and the occasional rattlings of the LRT. I'm far away from that moment in Apo Island. But I know this life that I have now is all worth it. Soon, I will be traveling once more. And until then, I know moments will come. I pray I'll be blessed enough to find them.