It’s another day in paradise. 🙂
What’s not to like? The sun is gloriously beaming its warm rays on my exposed skin, impressing on me that I should be grateful for its presence in my life.
Field work could sometimes be boring, the repetitive tasks deprived me of creativity. I felt like a robot whenever this happened.
Today was not such a day. I made sure of that. 🙂
Surprisingly, four of my godsons were present where I busied myself clearing cut branches. What came quickly to my mind was the amount of assistance they could contribute to my current task.
“Are you here to help me?” I asked when they orbited around me.
“Christmas is approaching, Ninong!” The eldest of the four stated. At fifteen, I believed he instigated the visit.
“I am aware of that,” I replied, turning back to picking up dried twigs and leaves. “However, I don’t think I’ll celebrate it this year. As you can see I have a lot of work.”
I was faking it, of course. I could imagine that with their silence, they possessed only frowning faces.
“You’re supposed to rest on Christmas Day.”
“How can I?” I faced them. “Look at this mess.”
I could sense they were fighting the urge to make a move, their eyes questioning one another if they were prepared to share time and effort at a time they were supposed to be having their aimless wanderings.
“Let’s help Ninong!”
In truth, I did not foresee such a chivalrous exhortation from the youngest of them. By reputation, he was the wiliest, the most frequent of my visitors, the inquirer of strange questions. Of them all, he could have vanished the minute work was in the agenda.
“If that’s the case, I might change my mind about a Christmas celebration.”
After the exchanges of teasing and boyish laughter, they went to work, treating the activity as pure play. They each formed their own pile, besting each other on who would end up having the tallest mound.
Not bad, I thought. I sat on a long felled log, taking a breather, watching them accomplished four times the work that should have been mine earlier.
Sweat formed on their foreheads, the physical exercise pumped them up. Naturally, they were hungry afterward.
“Since it was his initiative, he should hold on the money for your snack.”
“I am the eldest, Ninong. I also have the largest pile. I should hold the money.”
As it turned out, the other two picked the youngest. It was three to one.
“Here!” I gave them fifty pesos each.
They scratched their heads, confused with the way I handled the situation. I had the feeling that they suspected that that was it, their Christmas gift.
“That’s for your snack,” I explained, laughing. “You’ll get your gifts much later.”