Rivers and Streams
Water is awesome. It comprises more than half of the human body. It is essential to life but can be very destructive: it can sink huge ships, destroy valuable crops, wear out rocks, cause metal to rust and drown entire villages. Where water passes, civilization thrives. Waterways help bring information, goods, culture and other influences from other places, but can also bring invaders, disease and other dangers.
Water finds its own path
Gentle waves caressing the shore, a babbling brook, water trickling from a tiny fountain or the slush of a small waterfall are soothing sounds, so unlike the trauma-causing splash of giant waves against a porthole, hard, driving rain against the windshield or the sudden gush of floodwater as it enters a house. Accidental, unexpected, fortuitous, “force majeure”, “act of God”--similar labels for destruction wrought by an event that, even with due diligence could not have been prevented. One could flee or brave the onslaught of raging waters. To remain in its path could mean being inundated (and probably drown) or be swept away. Fleeing, on the other hand, is also life-altering.
Water finds its own path—-lakes spilling over, raindrops form rivulets that turn to streams and rivers or waterfalls—-and whatever gets in its way may break and/or get carried away. There are times when people pray for rain, other times, people offer eggs at the monastery so rain does not fall.
Over the weekend, I prayed that rains do not spoil my reunion with two dear friends. Even if we knew we would spend the entire time talking and catching up, we still wanted the option to go out at night, the way we did when we were in our twenties. “Scattered rain showers” were all we got. But we stayed indoors and stayed up until four in the morning, wishing the rest of the group were there with us.
There was a slight drizzle on my way home and as I watched rivulets on the windshield, it occurred to me that each of us found our own paths from where we met. Just like the streams and rivers finding their paths toward the sea, each of us found the way to what we really wanted to do.
Finding our own paths
We were freshmen in law school and had different backgrounds, different reasons for taking the course. When we first met, our Foreign Service Major was working at an embassy near our school. Our Baguio lass, an Economics Major, helped in her family’s many businesses—-including an auto repair and detailing shop. The Social Work graduate from an exclusive girls’ college was a court employee in Makati, while the other Economics Graduate worked at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. I was working for a small law firm at first, then later transferred to an audio systems distributor.
Only two took the Philippine bar. One is now a human rights lawyer and has recently moved back to the Philippines from Geneva; another used to man the women’s desk in her county but is now a Court Administrator in the US.
One passed the bar in Louisiana, but stuck to her job as a social worker in Florida. Still, another graduated from law school but did not take the bar. Although based in Melbourne, she now roams the world as a development worker.
As for me, I dropped out in my third year, taught at a private university for a while, then began writing freelance, which included short stints with various sectors, including the environment, fisherfolk, women and children and became an avid supporter of prepared childbirth and breastfeeding.
“We eventually find our way to what our hearts really want,” one of them, Vanessa, said. All in our fifties, except for one who will be a “golden girl” later this year, each of us did find our way back to where our hearts were. All of us got involved and were most comfortable in service-related work.
Like the rivers, brooks and streams that emptied into the sea, each of us slowly found our own paths toward the same ocean--where we first met and learned about justice. Indeed, water is awesome.Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.