“Look at the full moon,” Joemar said, through the hazy morning fog. “I feel like I’m in love.” I tried to ignore the implications of the bold statement and chalked it up to the mood and setting feeling romantic. As if that’s what it means to be in love. In love with nature. In love with life. In love with the moment. But not in love with me.
I smiled and finished my breakfast noodles. We had just walked over 300 miles and stopped for the night along the jungle road, where construction men were working and living in the off-road shelter. The night before, I was craving to drink and get drunk all day when we showed up in the middle of a Filipino style drinking session. A tiny amount of gin was poured carefully on the ground as an offering to the spirits while we shared one glass for shots and one glass for water in a counter-clockwise circle. The locals joke about “one glass, one disease”, but I didn’t mind. Even when I want to drink, the Universe delivers.
Thanking our new friends for the place to stay, we walked on in our journey. The mission: to walk the island of Palawan from the south to north, ending in El Nido. A spiritual culmination of strength and determinism. A unified joint effort. Many people along the way didn’t get it, but they didn’t need to. I was never walking for them, or for Joemar. I was walking for myself.
The air was crisp and cool and the fog was rolling through the hills. Indeed, it was starting to feel romantic. As the sun slowly illuminated the morning atmosphere, shining its golden rays amongst the plants, I felt a deep sense of complete presence to the moment. To the now. That ever illusive, simple, yet so maddeningly hard now. It was on. And it was happening all around me, right before my eyes.
I had gone mad. So mad, I felt high. Things seemed so much more vibrant. Magical. Alive. The smells were stronger and it was so sweet that I wished to capture it in a bottle for myself, selfishly wearing the jungle scent like a perfume. The colors were brighter, with the sun hitting just right to form a golden hue. The stillness of the jungle, with hardly any traffic running through, was pristine. With nothing but the jungle noises–birds, crickets, and my childlike wonderment in the form of words, or the soft click of my camera–I felt the oneness of nature, and me in it. Part of it. Pulsing like the cycle of life.
“I love you,” Joemar said. Did he just say what I think he just said? He’s high. We’re high. He’s under the influence. That’s not real. This is real. I’m in love with life! Invigorating, pure, all-encompassing life. I had never felt so still and present until this moment. Time didn’t matter. Only pulse. Everything around me pulsed with life. I’m breathing. I’m part of it. I’m one. And I’m alive.
TrackBack URL :