In my quest for better topics, I came across a passage from the second installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in the words of Treebeard the Ent:
“But then the Great Darkness came, and they passed away over the Sea, or fled into far valleys, and hid themselves, and made songs about days that would never come again. Never again…Those were the broad days! Time was when I could walk and sing all day and hear no more than the echo of my own voice in the hollow hills. The woods were like the woods of Lothlórien, only thicker, stronger, younger. And the smell of the air! I used to spend a week just breathing!”
(No worries. One does not have to be Middle Earth savvy to keep reading, since this article is based on that passage alone of the book.)
We have to accept it. Since the beginning of man’s complacent settlement, a lot has been sacrificed to make way for obvious development. These obvious developments come in different forms of infrastructure and to have these manifest, once pristine beauties have to be given up. Long has gone the time when the air is as pure as the water is clear; human activities have led to the earth’s present state which is such a pity because as they say we are simply borrowing the world from our children. When the time will come that our children will profess their turns in this world, they will shake their heads at their forefathers’ disdainful treatment to their home.
In exposing myself to reading materials made way before my time or your time, for that matter (classics), I have discovered a temporal existence that cannot be experienced today, and if it could, you must encounter countless impediments to actually experience it. Though The Lord of the Rings is a work of incredible fiction, the nature described is a personified reflection of what used to be and what cannot be anymore. At one point in high school, we trekked the mountains of Bucari, Leon to behold one of its hidden beauties – a towering waterfall. See, we had to slip, jump, and fall numerous times to be beguiled by the waterfall even for just a short time; but for all the challenges faced, it was worth it. But of course, natural beauties are not only limited to waterfalls, if we know how to appreciate what’s in our backyard, a simple landscape can become a transfixing wonder. In my abode somewhere in Iloilo City, there was a vast area of green land where we used to go and embrace its untouched splendor but it had been converted into a roadway leading to the coastal road. Like I said, something has to be given up to make way for necessity. A friend once remarked that she had to go to our area to actually get a whiff of fresh air which, of course, is exaggerated since no air in the city could ever be pure anymore, but those were the good old days because all that’s left of that seemingly pure air had been taken by the coal power plant operating in the vicinity.
Although we know these changes are being done for the better of the community, still one cannot help but be somewhat bitter at what is happening. Time will come when there will no longer be even hidden beauties to discover, no meager fresh air to sniff, no natural landscapes to take snapshots of. All I’m saying is if there are still coconuts in your backyard to crane your neck at, then keep your neck craning because albeit time is gone when we could spend a week just breathing, we could at least spend an hour to behold at what’s left.
*photo courtesy of Dragoroth-stock 🙂