Skip to main content

The Sunset

There was once a rich young man who had one day planned to go back to his beloved hometown by the sea. He had been waiting for a long time to go home to swim in the warm waters and once again capture the majestic sunset he had made a point to witness in his childhood. He believed that sunsets possessed a power to renew and give peace; it made him feel in his bones that there was hope to be found on this earth for those who know how to accept the transience of things, and what was asked of him was to always begin again.

And that was what he did in his life. He left his home to achieve the dreams that young boys then never imagined. He knew that he did not belong and would not stay for the rest of his life in their simple village of fishermen. He had gone to the city early in his adulthood to find his way to the stars. Finding that success came to those who persevered, he had accumulated some savings that would make his life more or less secure, if not at least pleasurable. But it did not come without hard work and long hours in the office. Truth be told, this trip home would be his first vacation in years. And he found no better way to spend this than to return home, lie by the waves and wait for the sunset he had loved. This was how the successful ought to spend their leisure, he thought.

So the day finally came when he found himself back home. He noticed that not much has changed since he was last there. The people were still simple and friendly, and they showed much pleasure in seeing the prodigal son back again. They teased him and praised him for being so different from the boy he used to be. To be sure, he has changed a lot and this not merely because of the fine clothes on his back but more so of the glow he had which wealthy and happy people exuded. Home has not changed, but it was he that had changed. For the better, he wished.

He was enjoying himself in the waters he had known so much. The feeling that he was submerged and completely awash brought back memories of endless days of summer. A sudden calm enveloped his heart, the kind of which he never experienced even in the silence of the nights in the big city. He knew that he was now happy. This is the good life: to work hard in reaching for your dreams but still be in touch with the finer and simpler things in life. All that he needed now was to see the sun as it was about to set.

While waiting, he noticed a small unmanned fishing boat slowly bobbing on the gentle waves. Knowing that fishermen do not set out at this time of the day, he curiously swam towards the boat. Upon reaching it, he was surprised to see that there was an old man in clothes that have not been washed for days lying on his back as if he was sleeping. But as he was about to wake him up for fear that he might drift off to the sea, the old man opened his eyes and smiled at him.

"Yes?" the old man said.

"Oh, I did not think there was someone in the boat," the young man, who turned shy, said. "What are you doing out at sea at this time of the day?"

The old man replied, "I am waiting for the sun to set."


Popular posts from this blog

The Fields of Amorsolo

The first National Artist in Philippine history, referred to warmly as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” Fernando Amorsolo (1892–1972) still stands today as a looming figure in Philippine art responsible for being one of the artists who helped define what we up to now visually imagine as essentially Filipino. The images of rural life, of golden fields below clear blue, blue skies; the smiles of farmers which diminish their weariness as they plant, harvest, and winnow rice;most especially the iconic figure of the Filipina maiden working in the fields—the beloved dalagang bukid--; these, I believe, even after generations of Filipino painters since Amorsolo, have remained in our hearts and memory. Amorsolo did what great masters do for their country: bestow upon it its own icons, represent its native beauty, that is, to give its people and lands an identity and a face. There are, however, as many intentions for art as there are works of art. And these intentions will always remain in…

Without Why (The Rose) II

Lifetime is a child at play; moving pieces in a game.
Kingship belongs to the child.

Heraclitus, Fragment 52

The child at play never asks itself why it plays. The child just plays; and if it could, it will play as long as possible, it will play throughout its life. See its delight and witness its smile.

If it would never go hungry or if the sun would never set it too will never leave its playmates and playthings. Time flies at play because it stops or suspends time. Time -- as we grownups only know too well -- is the culprit for order, schedules and priorities; yet for the child, there is no time, there is only bottomless play. It is we who impose that this or that should be done at this or that time. We stop the absurd and supposedly endless play ("He does nothing but play") because we insist that discipline, order and priorities be instilled in the child at an early age ("He needs to learn other things beside playing"). So that the child will become like us one da…

A Love Sooner than Later

BROWN PENNY William Butler YeatsI whispered, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. 'Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.' Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon.

One cannot begin to love too soon--conversely, one should not love too late or in life's demise. That waiting for the "right time," or the "right person" to love, what are these but the cries or sighs of an unready, even tired, heart? One becomes ready only when one begins to understand love slowly (or again), and one understands love progressively when one, simply, performs the act of love. Love, like mos…