The nymph’s reply to a young lad

woman standing on rice field during cloudy day

Photo by bruce mars on

Two years ago-


Around this time, I started planting grains of rice again and filled three hectares of land. I grew them until they became an epitome of beauty and abundance. Because the job was laborious and, the heat of the sun was too strong it scorched the stalks, I got scared and ended up sitting on a half-boulder; waiting for signs of rain. The rain felt rather stingy and didn’t shed some drops for me. I’ve been passing my time with a heart alarm. Weeks after, the rain came. An unfriendly rain came and tried to sink my rice fields. With a heart alarm, I hurriedly jumped off the boulder and dug a lot of side holes for excess water. I got completely soaked and my clothes all covered with mud, my lips didn’t stop shaking and the mud continued to suck my body in until dusk.  I was lucky a neighbor came for ropes and pulled me out of the pit. Three days after images of ripples and soil erosion carved my soil where they left my rice stalks kiss the earth. For what I could salvage I harvested them but for those I couldn’t, I tied them with abaca ropes and stocked them behind my house. I left them there, I couldn’t remember how long, because I couldn’t bury them even though they looked damn hopeless; precisely why I couldn’t bury them.

Young lad around this time also, I met someone I didn’t expect just like the unfriendly rain, I was unfriendly to him too. So, I tried to wrestle myself, I didn’t want the thoughts even his voice to invade my fields. I was so full of angst and hate and my heart alarm only increased. I didn’t notice my legs that were already sinking down the pit until he came with ropes and pulled me out like a worried-sick neighbor. Only then I realized that I had a friend who had been watching me ever since I started planting rice in the fields. He saw me sitting on the half-boulder with his heart alarm; precisely why he came after me in the rain because he saw me tying the stalks and piling them up somewhere even the sun wouldn’t reach. But he buried them with leaves and now mushrooms have grown in them; lots of them. They all looked damn beautiful.

Young lad the stalks that kissed the earth still remind me of the past. The images are still vivid. But you know, my hands learned a new way of digging side holes for excess water and my hands can do a little carpentry now, too. So even if the memories keep me awake at times, I think I know how to find joy somewhere around it. Now my hands are busy planting corn and chili peppers. You’d love how they have matured nicely!

Young lad even if the winter old man pokes you and nudges you with his heart alarm, know that an old man, though wise and attuned to the reality of the world, he still sits on his rocking chair awaiting the zesty smell of spring. And your hands, although, they found other ways to keep them wander and wonder, they are still your hands with your ten fingertips on them. With the memories of mountain peaks and dirty highways, soft clouds and a radiant sunshine, fancy reptilian friends, the gushing wind, the running rivers and, the whole world of language and letters, you can still go back; back to being happy. You can still live and be surprised. The blue horizon, didn’t you capture them a long time ago? And yet, look at them now, they still come back to you bluer than ever. Young lad, I didn’t expect help to come or a neighbor to lift me up but, they still came. They came for me.

That neighbor was just like you, young lad. He read about Nietzsche and Faulkner too. He was a musician. He plucked his guitar and sang with his band. His hair overflowed in his head like molten dark chocolates. And his beard draped the corners of his face. He talked about philosophy, education and complexity theory too. He enjoyed photography and, this so-called “here and now”. He even had symbolic tattoos in his body and his physical frame was more like you. I thought of him like the wind, my Zephyr. Because he could come back today and leave the next day. And I am still okay…

Young lad, I leave you with your provisions this time, wishing to learn more about you.

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