“1sts” (6. Bonsai)
I was called once to priesthood when I was in highschool, but I was expelled from the seminary after a year. Many were called, they said, but only a few were chosen; I was not. It is my first taste of rejection, I will not write about that now, but soon I will.
I would like to tell you about my first bonsai tree instead, and it has a name, I called him, “Ethan.” I mentioned the seminary because I planted Ethan the summer after I was kicked out. I was 13 years old with wings broken. Nobody really cared to listen to my side of the story especially my father. My mother, as always, was there to console me ~ in silence. I was left alone in the corner to leak my own wound to heal. At that lowest point of my life, for a reason that I’m just beginning to understand now, God sent me Ethan to care. I always had some loner tendencies as a kid. That summer and years after that I became withdrawn, misunderstood. Gone was the child full of life, I fell down so low I never thought I could ever rise from there.
I found Ethan still a seedling just starting to grow wild under the coconut tree in our backyard. He is a rare specie from the Balete(Rubber tree) family often found only in the forests. He must be a seed from those trees brought here by birds’ droppins. My natural liking for plants instantly draw me to his 5 verdant leaves. I replanted him and his first home was an empty tin can of milk. Quietly, I spent my summer wondering where to go reaching the end of my road while I watch Ethan grow new leaves.
What now with my broken wings?
I wonder now if I could fly again.
Will the winds of time save me from falling?
Tell me, where will I go from here?
What now with my wounded spirits?
I wonder now if I can rise from here.
Is there a pill that can mend the pain,
Will I ever have the courage to fight again?
My highschool years was a mess. I lost interest in everything. Like a seedling uprooted, I drifted with the uncertain currents of my young life. I slept my way through highschool, I was at section F of our batch, a picture of defeat at 15. Looking back now, I feel I only did one thing right those years ~ I planted Ethan.
God always have his way to pull our strings and bring us back to shores when we lost our ways in the ocean. He did and he put me in a nursing school. The least I thought I would become for a profession, but the course served me double purpose: I got a degree while I nurse my scars through college. Ethan grew into a maniature tree with dense leaves and 2 main branches by now. We practically grow up together. I trimmed his roots and leaves year after year, trained his trunk to lean to the direction it would look best, molding him into a lovely tree in a pot that he had become. While I became a nurse.
It was sad to leave him home when it was time for me to go to find my place in the adult world after college. But I have to do what I need to do. And for the first time he was out of my life. I have risen and had moved on from my previous defeat. I never saw him for 5 long years, when I went home we already moved to a new house in the city and then I remember Ethan.
It was a sad reunion for us. He lost his beautiful form the last time I saw him. My mother cut one of his main branch the previous year not knowing what to do with his uncontrolled growth. He was like an old friend with over grown mustache and beard unrecognizsble when I first saw him. He has a scar in the heart of his trunk from the branch that was cut off. I bleed inside seeing this friend who was once there for me soothing my pain with his green silence.
I started trimming, grooming, molding him again making the best out of the one branch that was left. His cecatrix added beauty to his new form. 3 years after he surprised me with abundant fruits in his branches to show me that he is a full grown tree now. He inspired me to grow more bonsai trees and he became a big brother to all of them. I was home for 8 years spending everyday moments with him sitted in that quiet side of our garden with the pond under.
It’s been a year now since I bade Philippines goodbye and gave Ethan my last glance when I moved here to Chicago last year. If only I could bring him here. I left him to the care of my 2 nieces for I know it is his purpose to touch life like he did to me.
It is when the seed is almost destroyed that it is about to grow. I understand that better now with Ethan. I went through the lowest point in my life and manage to rise like a seed. Yes, our cicatrix add beauty to our forms.