some of you know me as “the singer”, the short Filipina girl with a surprisingly hefty voice.
some of you know me as a “sass monster”, the one who can’t go a conversation without endearingly joking with someone.
some of you know me as the “girl who disappeared”, the one who showed up all the time, but then suddenly disappeared for 7 months.
that’s the girl who couldn’t take it anymore. that’s the one who took blow after blow without saying a word about the hurt; the one who sunk to her knees as she watched the forest around her slowly burn away.
this is a story about that girl.
this is the girl who hoisted herself up, and fled an ocean away looking for some sort of peace or joy that could fill the echoes of a now empty forest.
an ocean away, that girl breathed in fresh cooling air. she touched crumbling history, and walked over ancient ground. she wheezed laughter ’til her voice went away and drank in happiness until sleep quieted her thoughts.
that girl wandered in her forest, waiting for life to appear.
and she waited.
she waited until her feet grew weary of walking, she waited until the silence became a blanket that wrapped itself around her.
that girl sat staring blankly until the sky lightened and realized that she, in spite all the joy she had found in her escapades, was lonely. she realized that she had been trying to plant plastic in soil. she realized that behind every snapshot that she had so lovingly doctored was the longing to share it with those dearest to her heart; and they weren’t there.
that was when she realized that they weren’t there because she had fled the scene. it dawned on her that while her forest was burning, she had slipped out when she could have doused the flames.
that girl slumped once more to her knees, and feebly asked her Father, “what now?”
“well I’m obviously going home”, girl muttered, “it’s not like I’m going to stay here”.
No, go HOME.
when she still didn’t understand, the Father took the girl to her forest and stood there with her. He showed her the forest when it was a beautiful and lush haven, then He showed her the wasteland it had become. that was when the Father asked the girl to look closer.
“I don’t see anything”.
Look to the ground, He said.
when the girl expressed that she still saw nothing, He stooped to the ground and began to dig.
that was when the girl saw that underneath the dirt and ash were roots. roots that had survived the fire that had ravaged her home. roots that were not destroyed by her scathing resentment. roots that had remained, waiting to be tended and brought to life again.
that was when she truly came to the realization that it was she who had uprooted and left.
“I can’t fix this”, she whispered.
her Father looked at her with compassion and said, through me you can.
Go home and rebuild what has been destroyed. Go home and water the land I have given you with forgiveness. Tend to the ground with genuine acts of kindness. I have already done the hard work. See? The ash is gone, the dead remnants have been cleared away.
The girl and her Father walked slowly through her forest. He showed her where old roots still lived and clung tightly to the earth, and cleared away the dead growth that clogged the land. As they walked the Father also opened the girl’s eyes to new growth as well as looming trees that no fire could take away.
Before they could leave, the Father then took the girl by her shoulders and looked her in the eye. Take care of yourself. Don’t try to care for the land I have given you without me by your side. Spend time with me, draw closer to me. I am not done with you yet.
And with that, the girl went home.
-Soli Deo Gloria