FIRST PERSON: The day 'nothing' brought me joy and contentment

Niña Corpuz

Posted at Apr 10 2020 08:26 PM

“Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.” – Winnie The Pooh
 

Today I decided to run outside (before you throw stones at me, this means inside our village). Okay, who am I kidding, jog, “slow jogging” to be precise. I needed to breathe air or die thinking about the outside world. It must be cabin fever from this lockdown.
 
And so while I was “slow jogging” (running sounds better, I know), I noticed things I didn’t quite notice before. Some of them I see around but today I stopped to stare and observe. After two rounds in the village, I went back home, got my phone and decided to go back through my “route” to capture them.

Photo by Niña Corpuz


Let’s start with the beautiful bougainvilleas (had to Google the correct spelling). We have a lot of these in my little town of Batac, Ilocos Norte. One wall of our house is full of them in fuschia. Every time we drove home from Laoag to Batac, my parents would always marvel at their beauty. “Nagpintasen!” my dad would say. 

They were so common back then. I appreciated them more when Sitio Remedios would use the petals to write “Welcome Nina and Vince” on the beautiful white inabel bed cover or use them as table centerpieces. And now as I stood beside our neighbor’s plants, I gaze with admiration. Were they here all along? I hope my neighbor doesn’t see me staring at their property. Click. Click. Oh another one. Click.

Photo by Niña Corpuz  


Next, the suntan... santan? Get ready for this -- ixora! Sounds fancy. Anyway, the santan flower brings back sweet childhood memories, literally. Countless santan flowers sacrificed their beauty only to be pulled apart so that kids like us could taste the nectar. Remember those days? I wonder how many kids do that now. I’ll make sure my three "urban" children taste this! For the first time, it’s not a vegetable. Click.
 
And now to the green Indian mangoes. There used to be more... ayun papaya across the street! Oh no my neighbor’s banana tree died? It used to bear lots of fruit. How sad. I wonder what happened?

Photo by Niña Corpuz


 
But look there’s another one! Another neighbor’s banana tree is alive and well, growing a big bunch of bananas at that. I thought of getting some leaves to decorate the fish curry they were cooking tonight. Would that be stealing? No I won’t... today. Maybe next time I’ll pick one banana and run as fast as I can. I can’t believe I thought of that. Click.
 
Did you know that banana leaves are waterproof? What if I make a face mask out of it? Disposable and biodegradable pa!

Photo by Niña Corpuz

I move on. There are dogs. Oh no.. 1, 2, 3, 4... 9?! I’m always wary of dogs being walked, I have a nagging feeling that one of them might suddenly get away and bite my kids, or me for that matter. Emily seems to be a dog whisperer; she manages to tame them most of the time without fear. But right now, 9 dogs are coming right at me, all the same junior size, nonuplets?!! (Yup, I Googled that, too.)
 
A closer look shows how adorably cute they are! Wait, I’m not even a dog person, epekto ba ito ng lockdown? This isn’t me! I learned from the three yayas (they each walked three dogs, sosyal, di ba?) that the siblings were Jack Russel terriers. And they are not for sale. Not even one, sabi ni yaya. 

Jack Russel terriers are a popular, intelligent breed and get this, the top-earning pup in show business (golden retrievers come second, according to a Daily Mail report). They are featured in the TV series "Frasier," and films like "My Dog Skip" and "The Secret Life of Pets." Meeting these dogs made me research and learn something new! Super click!! They were well-behaved, as if I wasn’t there! No irritating barks. I like that, they don’t bother you. Guess I’m back to being me, cute doggies, bye!
 
I looked at the sky. It was gray. It’s usually orange at this time because of the sunset but it just rained so gray is what I get. The upside: there was a cool breeze and it felt good. I realized I didn’t need the sunset in this summer heat; I needed wind.
 
And I have proof.

Photo by Niña Corpuz


 
Is that the famous bat signal from Batman? Oh wow there it was, a black kite shaped like a bat, dancing with the wind. I saw about eight kites earlier, before I had my phone, and felt a little jealous at the kids on their rooftops happily flying the kites. They are the informal settlers separated by this huge wall in our village whose houses just got taller, a perfect place to fly a kite. 

Photo by Niña Corpuz

I positioned myself on a small hill to get a better view and I saw three little kids, their heads resting on a foam mattress on top of concrete blocks, gazing at the sky. One kid shouted, “Airplane!” I looked up and saw the white trail of smoke from the jet plane. That would make me excited too if I was a kid (while I debate with a friend whether it was an airplane or a jet plane).
 
I finally head home, but not before I noticed the lamp on our street. How odd that I found it interesting, even attractive against the gray sky, that is now much darker. Click.
 
I smelled the curry. I can’t wait to eat. Our yayas surprised us with yummy fish curry that they researched on YouTube. I really appreciated the effort and it tasted great. Thank you, Manang Ching and Yaya Ivie.
 
Eventually I heard the loud shrieks (did it ever stop), heavy footsteps from running all over the place, the kids are at war. Again. Jumping and wrestling with each other. Any moment now one of them will cry... or all three. For sure.
 
“Mommy!” they shouted in unison. “Jinx!”
 
Silly little kids. I’m home.

Photo by Niña Corpuz

 

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