I’ll tell you the first thing I want to do when I am back in my home country. It is what I want to do the most. I want to take my daughter to a playground. When I think of a playground, I hear the subtle sounds of children laughing and playing from a nearby playground outside the window. It’s the sound that used to make me grieve so when I visited my parents. It’s the sound that made me long for something that I could not attain. Did I long for a child of my own? No. What I longed for was this: to be able to stay without having to say goodbye. To be present to the passing moments of life’s precious gifts without suppressing grief. That’s what I longed for.
The late afternoon sounds of children laughing and playing outside my mom’s apartment made me cry so much. For month before my final departure from my country, I used to stop at the playground before going into the house. I climbed to the top of the highest slide and let my heart get its good release. I cried and cried and cried until I could not cry any more. Only then, would I go inside and only then, would I have the courage to face my parents. I would soon leave them to the far away country half way across the eaeth. I was still so young, too young to process such sudden farewell and the pain almost killed me inside.
Now the years have passed. Now I have a child of my own. Now my parents live here with me in this foreign land. Now the sounds of the playground doesn’t make me grieve anymore. Instead, the thought of taking my daughter to the playground comes with so much joy and happiness. And I cannot wait to go to the playground with my child in my native country.
Most days, I sit here facing this backdoor that leads to the playground and the woods. It is here that I connect with my creativity the most. The breeze flows right in touching my face and I feel so alive, so thankful for the life I have. It’s not always perfect. But at least, I don’t cry any more at the sight and sound of the playground. I now matured- I’d like to believe that I did- slightly more, and know how to appreciate the beauty of the life just the way it comes.
The other day, I found that deep appreciation on my dog’s face. I had just placed some humble wild flowers on my patio table when Buddy came and sat submissively. He just sat there with a deep, penetrating gaze so intense that I was moved to take a picture of that look. And I wondered, how many times have I stared at life with that mesmerized gaze? How much appreciation did I show to the creator of the universe that sustains all living beings by His magnificent power alone? As I welcome my life as it is, I realize today is a perfect day to do exactly that.