A brief entry before the holiday fever depletes what's left of our strength this long, almost harrowing year:
My grandchild has long learned her numerals and has counted with one to one correspondence. She has gone past 20 and to amuse herself while we were aboard a bus to Baguio, normally a six-hour trip that turned into eight hours because of heavy traffic in some parts of EDSA, Nothern Luzon Expressway (NLEX),MacArthur Highway and Gen. Palispis (formerly Marcos) Highway, she started counting aloud from "one" all the way to "ten", then proceeded to "eleven" while I alternated with the next numbers. When we reached "twenty," she said she'd count by herself. So from "twenty one" she counted all the way to "twenty nine." She paused for few seconds, then confidently declared in a voice loud enough for the next rows of passengers to hear: "Twenty ten!"
While Kai/Butones was also in one of her pauses, a.k.a. siesta time, in Pasig a few days ago, the elders (my mom, Nene Lolarga but Mama Mermaid to family members below 11 years old, me and Mamay Kimi) took the chance to finally have another four-generation but non-traditional photo op.
During the restive trip to the North, the bus would pause, too, sometimes for 30 minutes, engine running, as we waited for the traffic to ease a bit so we could resume moving. I sometimes gazed out the window to sights like these:
Somewhere in Pangasinan where the plumes of talahib are gone and the river's water level is low
Somewhere in Pangasinan again, sparrows have the time of their lives sliding down the rusting roof of a sari-sari store, only to get up, flutter their wings a bit, then go for another slide. A reminder from Matthew 10:29-31 to the anxious, the anguished, the fretful, the worry warts, even the exhausted, that we are worth more than sparrows: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Photos by Babeth Lolarga