With my bike, i was out alone last night in a churchyard that is becoming my mall of silence. You can make me sit and face an empty wall and give a reading on Gibran while everyone in the house snores audibly. Such a tryst is more than consuming a half-gallon of Selecta ube ice cream to me. (I often think of food indulgence these days as a rebellion against the human spirit’s craving to be simple and sacrificing in small, many ways.)
But nothing beats going out into the wild expanse of Nature, peering through my minute eyes into its uncontainable vastness, being awed endlessly by its seemingly eternal presence. The past 2 weeks had been alternate nights of clear, star-dotted and cloud-shrouded skies, as the moon gradually without maneuvering other physical beings around her, revealed its full grandeur. Last night, i was one witness, wondering over its seemingly late showdown from the horizon. The security guard likewise wondered when at 9PM, the moon emerged with its melon-hued fullness from the veil of clouds like a 6AM sunrise. We are in for longer nights and shorter days plus the cool breeze i can only savor in silence.
I walked to and fro on the concrete ground, craned my neck upward to wonder with the stars and the festival of celestial lights crowned by the lunar light. Priceless! Incomparable to any man-made entertainment!
But even the simple thought of joining their silent festivity could shock a consciousness hardened by noise. The human mind tends to think, imagine, plan, worry, or chatter endlessly so that submission to the silence of the moon and the stars is no eating of a Red Ribbon choco moca crunch. It takes some efforts and intention – from foregoing TV time to saying no to a child’s after dinner cajole to play. Just around 200 meters outside the churchyard is a bustling street. I have to be conscious of the difference between a city street and a silent churchyard because each demands two different kinds of consciousness: the city – at least an awakened sense of control and mindful activities (hindi pwedeng patanga-tanga sa kalsada); silent churchyards, or any ground of silence – of carefree, no wristwatch wondering.
In silence, time is less segmented into minutes, hours or days characteristic of city life because Silence is the Great Uniter of past, present, and future. It’s where i’m going in the ultimate sense of the word. And so you are. Never too bad to get to know it in the fullness of the moon and the glow of the stars. Tonight, i might go out again, moonless or otherwise, pedal from a city-consciousness to Nature-mindfulness, leaving behind a sleeping mother-and-child, believing that the silence that charges my being effuses and blesses everyone around me in return. Tonight, i will empty my mind again, leaving up to Silence to fill it. And i can tug some into the space because Nature is always community-minded.