Filipino Summer

The Philippine summer is here, which means that from March to June, outside temperatures will be 30 to 40 degrees Celsius, with a hot sun beating down mercilessly from a cloudless sky. An average humidity of one hundred percent doesn’t help much.

It was oppressively muggy in my room this afternoon, but a nice breeze was blowing outside, so I left my apartment to walk around the village complex and get some fresh air. Downstairs, I ran into a cute surprise: Tallis, one of the friendly local cats, with her two kittens, Thomas and Fox, all curled up into a sleeping ball of fur at the foot of the steps. (I named them. You may remember the kitten Thomas from an earlier epsode. But he’s more docile now, though still slightly wary around me.)

The mother and her kittens woke up as I approached, and the two little ones began to frolic a bit with each other. They followed me as I walked over to one of the sunlit grassy isles. (The ground floor of the apartment complex is a sprawling parking lot separated by grassy isles.) How pleasant it was! I just sat there in the grass by the light of the setting sun, while the kittens romped about, pawing at each other’s tails and playing with bits of foliage, as their mother watched from beside me.

The kittens now concede to let me touch them sometimes, but today they made a game of it, and I could only pat their cute furry heads if I could get past lightning-fast teeth and paws. The little rascals sometimes got so excited they forgot to sheathe their claws, but fortunately no blood was drawn.

Later on, I climbed to the roofdeck of the apartment complex, seven stories up. From here in the south suburbs of Metro Manila, the urban districts of Pasay, Makati, and Ortigas could all be seen to the north, groups of buildings sprawling from east to west, with airport hangars and terminals in the foreground between here and there. To the southwest, Mount Makiling rose above the horizon, half-swathed in clouds, backlit today by a golden-red sunset. Below, children ran about the neighboring village, some singing, some playing.

It felt peaceful, harmonious. As my eyes swept across the view and I inhaled the air, I thanked God for giving me this moment of refreshing. He responded, with a cool, gentle breeze, and a verse in my head: “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”

As the sun dipped below the slopes of Mount Makiling, I headed back to my room to feed the kittens and cook myself some dinner.

Thank you again, Lord Jesus, for that moment, for this afternoon. Teach me to always seek you, to always acknowledge that you are here with me, always my God, my Savior.