Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Letters to Marge (Chapter 12): How the earth bleeds from a broken faucet

Dear Marge,

Sometime in my early life, i saw grain farmers at the roadside on my usual trips to Baguio City. It struck me how they painstakingly hoe palay in their places on the road shoulder for drying in the sun. This was followed by thoughts of how they must watch over every errant grain around the area, to sweep every one of them back into the pile to ultimately help in the overall volume of grain they will ultimately deliver...

So it was that epiphany that made me think more than twice about not cleaning out every grain of rice on my plate (or Styrofoam lunch box) at my every meal.

Fast forward to last Tuesday, when we finally returned to our weekly visits to Baclaran...

I went to use the bathroom and saw faucets that just kept flowing, and no one was there using them. There have been almost a dozen people who have come and gone since i’d been in there. None of them bothered to turn the faucet off. I learned upon trying that the faucets were damaged, but not impossible to close. So i did...

Then off inside the church we went...

Of course, farmers do not take teaspoon after teaspoon of fresh water into a pail like they do rice. But two typhoons in, and several weeks of calamity later, it riles me that people do not take a few seconds to just try and turn off a damaged faucet and conserve something people elsewhere lie helplessly in wait for.

No one bothered, no one cared.

But you, I want you to bother. I want you to notice these things. These little things that are somehow always connected to bigger things. i want you to care.

One day, i want to find an opportunity to take you to watch people hoeing grain into place, or to look at how some people go through great lengths to get themselves a pail of fresh water. I want you to learn how to feel bad for every tree felled unnecessarily. I want you to stand near a highway and look at the trail of smoke left behind by an uncaring bus and wonder how long the skies will remain blue, if they would still be by that time.

I want your eyes and ears to see and know how the only planet, the only home we ever knew and ever will within our lifetimes, chokes at every sputter of smoke from a bus, quietly screams with every forest mowed down for a shopping mall, and ever so slowly bleeds with every faucet left on and unused.

I want you to care.

You alone won’t make a difference. But sometimes caring can be contagious, so let’s hope we infect other people.

‘catch you later, girl...



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