There is something about silence that awakens the soul. As if in that dimension, the air has cleared and your thoughts ring true. But silence here in the city is a pitiful thing. It is far from healing and tends to constrict and isolate–at least, that is how it feels to me.
A friend had told my mother of a place in Baguio that holds silence very much sacred. We brought our painting materials (the creation never ceases to inspire) and set out at dawn.
Some photographs I took:
Pine tree, rosemary, and a particularly moody afternoon.
A sampling of the wonderful and strange flora in the area. My mother is quite certain that the purple flower is a double gumamela (and my favorite).
Went downtown and bought a dragonfruit to share.
I did have my moments of weakness–after all, I am not very used to prolonged solitude. Logging on to facebook compulsively, I found myself lost again and again in the needless voyeurism of other people’s lives on the news feed. It took a very conscious effort to turn away.
On our last morning, I had the chance to converse with a father from an apostolic vicariate in the province of Calapan (incidentally, he was spending his birthday at the retreat). A strange experience, but not in a bad way, no. It is…rare to find a person soulful enough to unabashedly say ” God’s creation is wonderful” to a stranger, and not from a pulpit, not as a religious authority, but simply as a fellow child admiring his Father’s handiwork.
He offered to take a photo of me on my camera (in case I do not have one yet), and I requested to be among my favorite flowers. You cannot see it in the photo, but my soul was smiling as well.
By the way, the place we encountered is called Mirador Jesuit Villa. Here is an excerpt of the write up by H. de la Costa, S.J.:
“..Men and women who want time to think, time to reflect on what they are, what they must be or do come here, to this quiet hill beneath a quiet heaven: to reflect, to pray, to observe the signs of our troubled, yet immensely hopeful, times; to open windows to even broader horizons.
And so Mirador is still what it was in the beginning: an observatory, a point of vantage. And if this House could speak, perhaps this is what it would say to you: Look out of my windows and try to extend your vision beyond the Gulf of Lingayen to all of Asia. Try to make out more clearly what God’s plan for all these peoples is, and for all those who–like yourself–seek nothing else but to be of service to man.”
Til we meet again, Mirador 🙂