It’s obvious I’m in Australia. A strong wind hushes through tall, messy trees, causing the smaller branches to dance and sway, silhouetted against an orange and silver dusk sky. The air is clean and sweet as wattle wafts on the approaching southerly. kookaburras, perched on a wire laugh at the setting sun as crickets begin to thrum against the darkness in synchronised crescendos.
The chrome ocean moves as one in the approaching tide that laps and licks mossy rocks, quenching the mangroves thirst and submerging grey mud until the tide turns again. Wispy clouds move fast across a huge expanse of sky. A sky so big, it dwarfs the insignificant landscapes that lie beneath it.
The sun slides through an orange and violet sky, a last hoorah of spectacular light before dipping beneath the crisp horizon giving way to a dense darkness. Stars above, pierce through the windy blackness, pin pricks of bright light twinkling in the silence.
Gone is the pollution, gone is the dense smell of charcoal, gone is the Manila haze that never lifts. The silence is deafening here. No horns, no Jeepneys, no motorbikes with excessive exhausts to disturb the peace. The constant hum and rumble of the Manila metropolis has given was to the hush of a breeze and the song of crickets.
I realise now that I have lived in a totally different world the last year. A world that has no respect for silence, no understanding of solitude. A place where the sky shrinks, the stars hide shy, and the wind lies dormant between concrete towers.
Some may say silence and solitude are boring. For me, it’s become my refuge, my home, and for now my time to rejuvenate my soul until I see what the new year brings.