The ride to Baguio by bus last night caught me by surprise. I hadn’t been on a bus going up in a while and the cost was a bit disheartening considering how cheap it used to be when I was little but anyway, that wasn’t what compelled me to write. Lately, I noticed that when traveling I find myself asleep during all the “good” parts. Even in ordinary days, I sleep through beginnings and endings and miss out on the moments that are ideally savored but by some act of divine provenance, I was awake for most of last night. It was a such an illuminating bus ride and while passing through the occasional street lamp that’s rare in small towns, I kept getting surprised by the shape of me as captured by the windows. Seeing that and having all five hours to reflect has made me rethink my current state of mind and yearn for that which is greater than all of this.
Annie Dillard gives good advice about this in her Notes to Young Writers:
Dedicate (donate, give all) your life to something larger than yourself and pleasure to the largest thing you can: to God, to relieving suffering, to contributing to knowledge, to adding to literature, or something else. Happiness lies this way, and it beats pleasure hollow.
It really is true after all. I keep forgetting that there are greater causes and reasons for being than those we insist to cling on. Just last week I attended mass for the first time in a long time and the homily answered my questions perfectly:
Let go and accept God in your life.
The bus ride was no different. Finally the barrenness of not being spoken to became a pregnant waiting for the coming of (or returning to) Christ. In those four hours I thought of all the things i wanted to tell certain people and there was this incredible sense of peace that came over me. I was definitely on the road home and what a wonderful, wonderful journey it turned out to be.