The Wind in My Hair

Bougainvilleas at Sonya's Garden (taken by my sister)

Bougainvilleas at Sonya’s Garden (taken by my sister)

28 December 2013
9:30 PM
Tagaytay

M.–

It’s been a long day, but one I welcome gladly. Oh, I am back here finally, after pining for a year. I am once more bathed in wonder. Each time I return I fall in love all over again, even if nothing ever really changes.

Well–except for the traffic. We seem to have ran into the thick of it this time. It’s as if everyone decided to leave Manila and be here for the holidays. I suppose it’s not that original of an idea, not that novel, to leave home and be somewhere else after Christmas–just to take a breather, just to get away for a bit from all the stress and negative energy permeating the spirit. Living in the city does that, I find.

Then you come here and suddenly nothing else really matters. Not the house that’s being renovated, not the bills that I still have to pay, not the relationships fraught with tension as the days pass. We pass the town marker and suddenly the smell changes. What comes to me: trees. Wind. Mountains.

Late lunch at Sonya's Garden (taken by my sister)

Late lunch at Sonya’s Garden (taken by my sister)

And because we weren’t able to take any more photos (we were famished), here are two more from past trips:

Inside one of my favourite restaurants one late afternoon (taken May 2012)

Inside one of my favourite restaurants one late afternoon (taken May 2012)

My favourite sculpture, down by the pond (taken May 2012)

My favourite sculpture (taken May 2012)

Here are some excerpts from my journal, where I’ve been writing on and off throughout the day:

3:15 PM
Aguinaldo Highway

On our way to the hotel. The wind in my hair. We had a late lunch at Sonya’s. Arrived there past one in the afternoon. Four hours on the road! Didn’t anticipate the traffic, though I should have. Feeling sleepy now. God is in the wind. Wish I could live here someday.

***

4:30 PM
Crosswinds

…As for me, I prefer a bit of imperfection, a bit of things not going as planned or expected…If not a thing is out of place I dread it, I wait for the other shoe to drop, that sort of thing. Because nothing is what it seems–I think that’s a good mantra to believe in/repeat.

***

6:00 PM
Crosswinds

C. and I went outside for a walk, supposedly to get some ice and drinks, but the convenience store no longer exists, and all I got was exercise I didn’t want (ha!) up the hills. The view was nice though, the wind cold. Ah, the wind. I think I am in love with it.

Got back to find my father sleeping…I put Diana Krall on, and now her voice is all over the house. We are waiting for Mama and S. to get back from shopping for some veggies. T.R. came in with two glasses of an eighteen-year old whiskey, which is fantastic. I’m never getting out of this bed.

***

9:00 PM
Crosswinds

Woke up in time for dinner…opened a bottle I brought with us–zinfandel, I think, mixed with some exotic fruits.

I was really sleepy still, and that may have been the whiskey’s fault. Washed the dishes and tried not to fall asleep on my feet. A.C. gave us some gifts to open over coffee, but I had to pass on the caffeine as all I wanted to do was sleep. So I went back to my blanket and bed, and, well, goodnight.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think I have developed an attachment to the mountains. I’ve come here many times, with different people, on different occasions. In the recent years though, my trips have been decidedly remarkable, and it’s getting harder and harder for me to leave. Perhaps it’s the weather. The way the wind wraps its arms around you as if afraid to let you go.

There is just something precious at work here. I wonder if it’s some measure of grace unknown to me? The way the trees beckon as if their leaves hold all the secrets. The way the sun seems to reach for every corner and, failing, fades into the day as if to say that it’s okay with that. The way people seem to move about their days, as if there is no other world but this one.

First words my father said upon opening the door: "Home sweet home" (taken May 2012)

First words my father said upon opening the door: “Home sweet home” (taken May 2012)

I sound silly, don’t I? I really do blame the whiskey.

Goodnight,
T.

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