An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

23 October 2009

Stormy weathers

A couple of weekends ago I got stuck inside my own apartment building because Typhoon Ondoy, which ravaged Metro Manila and other provinces in the mainland, brought unexpected floods that horrified people as the water level rose fast in areas that had never been flooded before. By noon of that Saturday it was flooded everywhere. Evangelista, where I live, and which had not been flooded in the five years that I lived there, was knee-deep in dirty floodwater, and news reports say that Edsa was a twenty-kilometer river at the height of the rainfall last Saturday. It was the worst flooding in Metro Manila in over forty years.

Luckily, I lived on the third floor of an apartment building, and although electricity, internet connection, and mobile phone service were intermittent, I was safe and comfortable. I noticed a leak in the ceiling that was starting to create a puddle on top of my wooden desk so I placed a plastic dipper under it to catch the drops. From time to time I would look out the window to see the floodwater on A. Bonifacio and Evangelista Street rising consistently, and more and more vehicles getting stuck. I could not walk out in that deluge, not even to buy food or check on my car parked downstairs, so I just muttered, “C’est la vie,” and snuggled into bed with Proust.

I used to like summer so much. Growing up in a farm, summers have always been the highest point of my year. School would be out, I didn’t have to wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning, and neither did I have t go to sleep early, and I could read books that were not required for school. I’d stay up in a mango tree all afternoon, reading, with cushions stolen from the sala for my back and tushy. The maid would bring me merienda up at the branches. I’d only go inside the house once the mosquitoes started coming out.

Even when I was a freelancer, I’d spend summer like I was partly on vacation. I’d go out and have meetings only in the early mornings or in the late afternoons or evenings, and work at home just in the morning, and stay in bed reading all afternoon. There’s something about summer that makes me feel lackadaisical, carefree, like I’m a child again. And once, there was this magical summer when I joined the Hell Week of the Urban Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Course of the PNP Special Action Force. It was for work, but it didn’t feel like work. It felt like I was just hopping around the dust and the grass in combat boots smelling the gunpowder, with sweat streaming down my back and hot wind blowing through my hair – a child in a vast playground. And whenever summer ends, each June, I always feel like it's the end of an era.

I suppose when one gets older things do change. Now I find summer quite tiresome. It melts the makeup off my face, it makes my sun block feel sticky on my arms, it makes my glasses slide down my nose, it makes me sweat through my pantyhose, and it makes cars feel like ovens inside after you park them, even in the shade. The things that I have always liked about summer – the heat, the dust, the fact that school was out – seem annoying now.

But when it’s cold and raining, somehow I feel more cheery. I can run errands without (literally) breaking a sweat, there are less people on the sidewalk, and there’s no smog and no dust. The air smells fresher, too, and the gray atmosphere is easier on the eyes than the bright, vivid light of hot days. Though rainy days bring their own set of health hazards, these are nil with sensible rain gear. Plus, of course, no one should swim out in six-feet-deep floods.

Why have I changed this way? Perhaps, after all these years of summery living I’m due for a wash-down. Perhaps, too, summer fashion has gone and left me for younger skins and more active bodies. Perhaps the discomforts of summer has always really been there, but I was too young to notice, and now I am old enough to see them, and can now appreciate the cool, the wet, the gray, and the subdued. These days I look up at the sky, see dark clouds, and start feeling comfortable. Perhaps it really does come with age. Now approaching my mid-thirties with forty-inch hips, the rain has grown on me. Rain is now my new sun.

[Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4]


Blogger MARNE KILATES said...

Hi Maryanne, just passing by again after a long time, and enjoying myself and envying your prose..."Rain is now my new sun," and tackling Proust--I should do that too one day. Sige, babay, cheers! Marne

6:49 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, Marne! I didn't mention the rayuma anymore. One admission at a time. I'm sure you can understand. Hahaha!

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the same way with the arrival of fall knowing that winter's just around the corner. I just feel comfortable and upbeat when the cold season kicks in.
Anyway, great blogg and I enjoy reading your posts.


1:38 PM  

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