Friday, April 29, 2005

A light in my window...

A light in my window is a piece that I wrote sometime ago, remembering the rice harvest in Banaue...


I see a light shining through my window. Someone peers through my window, shining a light on me. I turn in my sleep and murmur, “What’s a light?”

I chase my dreams in a land, where only my soul self goes. I chase a dream of butterflies and roses and a field, bright and green, and me, walking through the green with a crown of flowers in my hair. I walk alone, and hum a song, that lingers in the summer air. It is summer in my dreams, and the mountains around me, shimmer with a green that is wondrous to behold. I turn and twirl under the summer sun. I dance in bare feet, feeling the soft, warm earth, under me. It is summer and the song of birds fills the air.

Alone, I wander through the summer fields, threading my way through the slim foothpaths. Carelessly, recklessly, chasing butterflies that flit to and fro, over and among, the green, green, stalks of rice. I sing and hum a song, engaged in my own delight. For this is home, the home of my heart, the home that I cleave to in my mind. Here lie the treasured paths, the fields I visit, when I think and when I write. Here, the mountains tower to the skies, haunting in their splendour, and tier upon tier, the patient rice, waits for the eager hands of the harvesters, waits for the eager pounding of the pestles, that separate the grain from the chaff. Wind chases away the chaff, as a woman in a woven sarong, winnows the rice, in a basket, shallow and round and smooth and white. She gathers the rice in her sun-browned hands and her lips curve in a toothless smile, as she passes the smooth, the fair, white rice, from palm to palm. And now, it is time.

With eager feet and eager hands, the harvesters come, to taste the wine that flows from the vats of the elder ones. Rice wine, to make the old men sing, and the old women cry in remembering, rice wine to stir up the fire in the blood, that makes the young men sing and the maidens dance. Their hands now flap against the wind, and in a circle they dance and sing. Their voices raised in the age-old chant, giving praise and thanks to the wise, old one, who lives in the skies, who gives them this bounteous harvest of rice. Voices, voices raised to the sky, as the blue gives way, to the dark of the night, and over the mountains, so bright and green, is laid a blanket of night’s covering. Still, the maidens dance and sing, their voices calling to me, on the wind.


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