Yesterday, I had a very beautiful walk. I biked the same route I walked the other day (the night before). It was past 5 pm, still some sunlight but no longer as bright. The road was filled with vehicles. But I know the dirt road will be empty. It always is. I first noticed an ant hill—or was it a termite hill? I took a photo of it while two teenagers rode their bikes passed my back. I don’t think they have biked this dirt road before as they returned immediately to the main road after just a few seconds.
I then noticed some irrigation machine and paraphernalia, which are gallons and plastic bottles of different sizes. I think these containers used to hold the fuel that ran the machine. But why leave it here rather than bring it home so you have somewhere to put your fuel next time? I struggled to take a photo, moving closer to the machine and gallon then moving farther to include the alolong. I saw mounds of calamansi.
Alas, I moved on and now saw a fresh green bed of what was perhaps rice seedlings. They were neatly arranged, all eight rows of them. I rested my eyes on the green color for a while. Around here is where I realized that these dirt roads, these abodes of silence, are the organic materials that draw me into walking. They are my kissas. If I am looking for what feels natural then they are it. I am drawn towards the silence they bring, the transcendental experience of being in them, the surprises from the natural world, and the thinking and reflection I get from being alone in them.
This made me realize that the mentors I want to learn from are the Thoreauvian writers—writers who walk for self-mastery, to understand how to live well. So Thoreau, Dillard, the Japanese Thoreau, and the philosophers who walked (perhaps even Thich Nhat Hanh). My process would be fieldworks in the afternoon and writing, reading, and thinking in the morning. The gamble is that this interplay between thought and experience in a way that is uniquely me, will make it easier to integrate and be well with all the other areas of my life.
Since I was a child, I already knew about this—my purpose was to be with myself most of the time, to listen to this beautiful mind, to put myself in environments that make it a lot easier to thrive in my mind. This has always been who I am. I do not have to be who I am not. I do not have to write about what others are writing about. I commit to being in love with my mind and my life and my experience—not because I think they are special but because I think they bring me joy.
I saw a large mound, a dig. Are they building a house at the middle of the field? Is there treasure? I walked further and saw a kuliglig wagon and shot it with perfect focus. I reached the last leg of the trail, but the grass was too thick at the end so I stopped where the grass was too lengthy, in front of an open alolong with the farmer’s clothes and pillows and sat on the side of the pilapil. It was 6:45. I sat there for 15 minutes. Then I went home.