It’s May. The rains are here. With the first raindrop, flowers bloom. Girls turn into women. Love blossoms. Memories, like golden rays of the setting sun, are fingers that reach back into the depths of one’s being. Ordinary folks become poets, poets become lovers. Sinners pray, children offer flowers to the Virgin.
It’s fiesta time in many parts of the country. People remember their saints – San Isidro, patron of farmers. There’s food on the table after a bountiful harvest. The morning star seems to not part with the moon. A sign, fishermen say, of a good catch waiting in the middle of the ocean. A sign, young men say, to go a-courting.
People who are far decide to come home. Those who could not afford a trip back wax sentimental, especially in the early evening, when noise and silence compete to grab one’s attention. There’s no escaping the memory of village dances, of picnics under fruit-bearing mango trees, of games – tubig-tubig or tubigan under the full moon, taguan, or even sungka with older cousins and siblings.
There’s no escaping the shadow of the past visiting, of lovers leaving, of family members dying, of the first heartache, the second, and sometimes, the endless romance that never came to be, of promises that never become reality.
The month of May is both happy and sad, a marriage of tragedy and victory - facets of life all of us cannot escape, like coming to life and dying, like clouds becoming rain, like buds dying to become flowers, like girls having their first period, like the fingers of the setting sun, reaching out but slowly fading on the horizon.