Tuesday, June 25

The Warmth of Christmas

photo by BEVERLY F. DELA CRUZ

The chilly December wind made him frown. It reminded him of the old days when he still associated the month of December with warmth; the kind of warmth that made him recall what home was like: far from the honking cars, the blinding city lights, and the bustling of busy people. Home reminded him of tall grass, old trees, sleeping carabaos, and the colorful ornaments that surrounded the peaceful provincial streets.

What used to make December truly exciting was when a man would knock on the front door as his mother prepared snacks while he tried to do his homework. Upon hearing the knock, he would instantly run out of his room wearing his biggest smile as he eagerly unlocked the door.

The man on the other side was always worn-out by months of battling the harsh waves of the ocean, but the twinkle in his eyes was always bright and the smile on his face was always irreplaceable. The boy’s mother would smile back softly and give the man a peck on the cheek. The boy would jump into his father’s arms as they share a rare moment of peaceful resonance.

Several Decembers have passed and the usual ham and queso de bola on the table were replaced by instant noodles and coffee. The warmth was replaced with deadlines and sleepless nights. Sometimes, he wonders if he ever could ever relive the warmth he once felt during December. F MARIA PAMELA S. REYES

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