It’s Sunday! This means no school for children and day off from work for parents. We prepared for the mass at eight in the morning. Our parents, together with our neighbors, agreed to go to the beach and have picnic there . After the mass we were to follow them.
Uhm, it was kind of we, children, were the ones who should go to mass. Our parents would just attend it on certain occasions like, you know: baptism, weddings, burials and sometimes birthdays. Yes, my family was not the practicing type though we were taught to have fear in God early on.
After the mass, I, my sister and our friend Carmen excitedly headed to the beach. The beach was just a walking distance, a kilometer perhaps. No means of transportation was available at that time around town, except if you own one privately. So, the walk gave us lots of time to talk about our crushes, friends, whereabouts in school and petty problems at home. Moreover, it made us aware of the people and sights we passed by. It was easier then to know by name most people in town.
At the beach we excitedly gathered seashells, seaweeds like lato and guso, and salwaki (sea urchin). We can do this only when the tide is low. When it is high, we just jumped onto the inviting waters and enjoy swimming. Oh, the smell of the sea and its cool waters made me so nostalgic now. Our mothers too did the same. The fathers were left at the seashore to grill the fresh fishes they bought from the local fishermen. When it was time to eat everybody forgot their diets. Could your appetite says no to freshly gathered seafood? We finished everything up to the last crumb. After that everybody raced to dive the cool sea. That was so fun then. Our family, the neighbors, the kids. Such wonderful memories that I kept returning to when I need a boost of positivism.
Well, we also do this activity with my kids now. Only that it’s not done on a regular basis because my husband has overtime on some Sundays. Because Sunday is my only day off from work too, I divide my time from doing the laundry, doing household chores and attending mass. We also are not that open with our neighbors regarding outdoor activities. Most of us are that busy too. Unlike in my childhood days when we did go to the beach almost every weekend and almost everybody in the neighborhood joined.
Our technological age hates so much power interruptions. But when we were the young ones, we love power interruptions. Because power interruptions mean father had to entertain us with shadow play or sang us songs of his time. He did not possess such lovely voice. But the thought of us gathered together around him including mother and having fun was priceless. We felt each other. We laughed at each other. We may not say I love you vocally; but our actions said it loudly.
We loved it more when power interruptions happened during full moon. We will all go outside with the neighbors. The parents would talk anything under the sun. While the children played Patintero along the road. The fun was endless.
Now, even if challenged with power interruption, we are still connected with our laptops, tablets, phones and the likes. And the first thing we look for after the candles are lighted, are the fans to cool us down. Times have changed, so is our climate. It is much hotter now. Thus, it is much difficult to have fun during this time. Also, it is no longer safe to play outside during evening because many vehicles are passing by and we no longer know everybody in town.
I know I could not give the same activities that I enjoyed in my childhood to my two kids now. But I will try, as much as possible, to give the same amount of pleasure and nostalgia-that they may share the same pleasure when it is their time to walk down memory lane.
Have a purposeful day!