I live in the tropics. In the south east. In an island on the eastern side of the Philippines. In a sense, and if my vision of the map of the world is correct, that almost makes me a Pacific Islander. Almost.
I live just one river crossing away from the beach. But the distance between my place and the river isn’t substantial. The river isn’t wide nor deep that if bridges haven’t been the norm, we wouldn’t have a need for one. Neither is the distance between the river and the beach any significant.
I could go to the beach and take a dip every morning without hassle if it was my wish.
The problem with living in the tropics is that there is no such thing as the changing of the seasons.
We only have two seasons: wet and dry. But they overlap too much and there’s hardly any difference and you wouldn’t even notice them changing if it weren’t for the frequency of the rain. Indeed, throughout the year, the world around me stays the same.
You don’t get to enjoy a bright and warm summer morning as the wind envelopes the earth with the kites flying above the vibrant earth. You don’t get to hear the cicadas chirping in the warm summer night.
You don’t get to see the leaves turn gold and brown as autumn sets in. You don’t get to hear the leaves crunch under your boots as you take a walk in the park. You don’t get to see the last leaves fall from trees on the last autumn afternoon as the world prepares for another season.
You don’t see the world turn into a wondrous space covered in white as winter arrives. You don’t see snow fall from the sky while the people gazes up in awe entranced by the first snow of the season. You don’t get to make the bubbly Mr. Snowman. You don’t get to build your own frozen palace. You don’t get to huddle by the fireplace to get warm and cozy.
Most importantly, you don’t get to see the world rejuvenate as life begins anew with the first blossoms of spring. You don’t get to enjoy the wonder of the renewal of life, the beginning of a new cycle, the start of something new. You don’t get to see the fauna wake up from their long slumber under the ice. You don’t get to see the new grass spring forth from the previously frozen ground.
You don’t get to be enthralled by the marvels of the beginning of new life.
I admit to be gravely sinful and say that envy lives in my heart for these are wonders of the earth that I have never witnessed myself. And these things I long to see and I live in envy of those who already do.
Nevertheless, I am not one to dwell on what I don’t have. It is not in my nature to dwell in the acquisition of things which are out of my league. I don’t enjoy dwelling in wishes and dreams that are beyond me.
As a wise old man once said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
Hence, I will continue living in the tropics where I have been so blessed to have been born in. I will continue to bask in the sun that rises with the start of every new day. I will continue to gaze at the moon and the stars whenever the clouds keep from obscuring them at night.
However, I know that those wishes will remain in my heart. Perhaps, envy itself will continue to thrive with them. But they will remain as fragments of those things that will push me to make real. And I will. Somehow.