For the longest time, I am starting to miss the rustic life.
I was born and raised in a pastoral atmosphere where I have experienced the ease of simple living – quaint and very laid-back lifestyle. Dogs, chickens, ducks roaming around were a familiar sight. We had a small vegetable garden that provided us with fresh tomatoes, eggplants, okra, camote tops, string beans and some other “bahay kubo” stuff. Fruit bearing trees surrounding a pretty open backyard served as an open shelter while having a midday sleep on hot summer days. How I loved the soft summer breeze that would lightly brush my sun-kissed face.
Before the sun would even hit east, I would be awakened by the sound of chirping birds. And oh! There’s a different feeling that morning dew brings – a fresh start of a new day.
We had an all wood ancestral house that swayed with the wind whenever a typhoon would hit. That would also mean the death of the family in the event that our house would be gone down. Thank God, it stood firm through the years. Old tin cans would be ubiquitous around the house that served to catch rainwater directly hitting the floor due to old rusty roofing.
It only had two rooms but quite enough to accommodate the household (imagine 5 persons in each room). We had a very long kitchen table where we shared our meals together portioned equally in small bite sizes to be able feed us all. It was in our home that I learned to share and make do with whatever was served at the dining table. Mother was an incredible cook.
The house was really old but it was our home where I spent so many memories. I had a father who worked for the government and a mother who was a school teacher but opted to take care of us eight children rather than teach other kids in school. Although we went through hard times keeping both ends meet due to father’s meager income (he had to feed 9 people), all of us were able to finish school with the help of kind and generous relatives.
Life was incredibly tough for us but I remember mother teaching me how to read and write before I even started preschool. Our old house was my school ground temporarily. While mother did the laundry, I was left with lessons to finish and had them checked after she was done with her chores. At night, I had to deal with the faintly-lighted flickering lamp since we hadn’t had electricity until I was in secondary school. She was very strict as a teacher but loving and caring as a mother. She passed on 22 years ago but I am still missing her. Father, on the other hand, went to be with the Lord nine years later.
So, I went on with life and so with my siblings. Some started a family of their own while I still remain single. Oh well, such is life! Looking back – I will never ever forget the house that shaped me through the years!