Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sands of Time

Joy Estrellado-Bagsik

I am Mother Nature

Sands of Time is taken from one of Sidney Sheldon’s novel. It’s all about four nuns who have their own stories to tell. But my column is not about nuns or anything religious. It’s all about time and how it flies along with the event that goes with. Imagine an hourglass and the sands it contain. Every teeny bits of sand represents time.
As they say, every second counts. With just a blink of an eye, a second maybe, a lot of things might happen, like the birth of a newborn baby or death a person.
I won’t forget this day, February 15, 2006, for from this day onward; I’m going to share with you my thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions. But let me encourage you by saying this column is not mine alone but as well as yours. What I mean is, I’m inviting you to send your comments, suggestions, letters, poems or any literary piece.
What saddens me is that the time I’m about to introduce my column to the people is also the time when hundreds of lives had been lost in Leyte. Not to mention the ULTRA tragedy that took place on that fateful Black Saturday.
Last night I had a dream. I dreamt that I was Mother Nature and I was on trial. It was a criminal case against me filed by the people of the Philippines. The case, multiple murder. I was charged of killing thousands of lives in Baguio, Quezon, Ormoc, Leyte and all the other cases related to nature’s wrath.
It was a nightmare. All fingers were pointing at me, calling me a MURDERER.
The first witness was a kaingero. He said I killed his wife and his three-year-old daughter. He stated that I didn’t stop showering them with rain that caused flood and landslides. He was hysteric, and when he looked at me, I felt like dying.
Another witness was a crippled housewife. She was very brave to stand in the witness stand, very calm but I can feel the coldness in her. She said that she lost her husband in a tsunami. Her husband was the breadwinner. And since he’s gone, she’s left with six kids to feed and she felt helpless because aside from being handicapped, she knows not how to read nor write.
The third witness was on my side. A student. She said that it was not my fault for the people abused me. They didn’t listen to the lessons given by the previous disasters that happened. They continuously cut the trees that hold the water when it rains. She said a lot of things to prove my innocence.
I didn’t quite listen to the testi-monials given by the witnesses. My thoughts were filled with different memories.
Yes, I remember the kaingero. He was the one, along with his friends, who cut the trees that I’ve been cradling for years. And cutting trees they were not contented, they even shot a deer that happened to cross their path.
And I remember her husband alright. The fisherman. Wasn’t he the one who killed my fishes by using dynamite? He killed not just the fishes but as well as the corals that served as shelter for my fishes. He was also friend with the men who built big buildings and factories near the lake. The fishes found it hard to breathe because of the chemicals that pollute the water. And they also dumped garbage along my riverbeds.
I realized how ungrateful man could be. After feeding them, giving them shelter, clean air and this is all I get in return!
I’m guilty I admit. But like them, I was also a victim. I’d been molested. My beautiful mountains had been denuded. The richness of my ocean had been robbed and battered. Now there’s nothing left of me but the memories of how pretty I used to be.
I’m sick. I think I’m dying. Maybe that is the reason there was an earthquake, for I was shaking. I can no longer hold on to the ground. I’m old, really old.
My attention was caught by the daughter of the crippled housewife. She just arrived at the courtroom and when she saw me, she shouted at me saying "YOU CRIMINAL!" The people around joined her and they all swarmed all over me, each hand trying to get hold of me, to hurt me.
Then I woke up and found myself sweaty and teary eyed. I never wanna be in Mother Nature’s shoes. I never wanna be in the shoes of those who died in Leyte.
Every night I thank God for saving us from such calamities. Let us all pray and ask God to have mercy on those poor souls.
Let us save Mother Nature from dying. Let us all do our share so that she would spare us from her fury.
You can e-mail me at Till then! Au revoir!


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