Friday, September 16, 2005

Time After Time The Narra Tree Blooms

I remember the last days of high school. I spent most of them staring out at the narra trees growing beside our classroom, terribly missing the seemingly everlasting profusion of green. I felt sad every time. I was sad because I wanted desperately to see them bloom, because they lose their leaves in October and grow them back in June, when classes start, when I will not be there anymore. Is there something about the narra tree inside which knows that more hopes and laughter to water it come back every June?

There are some things you can never get back to.
You can never get back to that umbrella you left in the food court. You can never get back to that cell phone you left in a tricycle.
You can never get back to high school.
I’m listening to Time After Time, Eva Cassidy’s version. It was our graduation song, a song for remembering what cannot but be forgotten, and yet it remains in the recesses of your soul.
Somewhere in a hidden niche of my being I am called to remember our graduation. It was not a time to exhilarate, knowing what lay before us when we step in to college. It was not a time to cry either, because who was leaving who? Obzite has a bond we believe is unique. It was not the kind of thing that was temporary, like ice turning to wisps of evaporating gas or dew that capitulates at the rising of the sun. Who will cry when everyone knows that that bond is unbreakable by time after time?
The night was humid. There were letters to be distributed, promises to be made. There were last smiles to share and goodbyes to be ceremoniously made. The atmosphere was quite festive, actually. You could even read the caption: bye to Atheneum! Goodbye Kalbo! The lanterns on the trees were lighted up and you’d think you’re going to a damn party instead of saying goodbye to everything you have ever known.
I had a problem then. My heart was not in the best shape to be happy for myself, to jump up and down in a frenzied beat at the notion of leaving my alma mater. I was gong to UP. I was supposed to be happy. I was leaving. But sorrys were never properly made. Confessions were never properly said. I was leaving, though, I was leaving.
I knew that such things, in time, will not matter anymore…

Graduation is five months ago. Where is Obzite now? Has it survived time after time? Who fell and who caught whom? Who waited for whom? Who kept the suitcase of memories?
I don’t hang out with them anymore, and I am not the only one. Manila is so far, time is so scarce; there are always lousy excuses any stupid moron will see through. We are not as close as we were. Just five months and people are drifting away.
I never kept any illusions about remaining together, physically. I never kept any hopes that everyone will remain in touch.
But I know, from that recess of my soul.
The Obzite bond is beyond seeing each other or keeping in touch everyday. It transcends such trivialities. It is that sort of rare, unexplainable bond among a group of people who shared a life together. I know that when time comes we will get back to each other, for while there are things one can never get back to, there are also things one can always get back to…
You can never get back to high school.
But you can get back to the people you shared it with.

The narra tree loses its leaves in October, and every June, when it is not so hot as in summer and not so rainy as in September, the leaves creep back to the bare, withered branches and explode in an orchestra of green.


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