ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya - The Freeman

We miss doing the things we used to. Because of the epidemic, we can't do what we used to. Things we haven't done in a long time, or only do seldom and cautiously. Even if we are slowly regaining a sense of the past, we nevertheless yearn for the days of old. But when will we be able to accomplish it?

I have a propensity to see my students perform on stage. I wish they would memorize their lines, internalize their characters, and therefore do justice to their roles. As my students communicate their opinions and problems in embracing certain roles, I am always yearning for them.

But, for the time being, all of them are only aspirations. And it is this longing that keeps us believing that one day, in the not-too-distant future, all of our dreams will come true. Our strong desires will put our character to the test, forcing us to stretch even further. And, in many cases, the stretch is endless, and if we stretch it farther without first understanding our own boundaries, it will abruptly break, making it difficult to bounce back. But if we know how far we can stretch and take time to reflect, we'll be able to recharge and ask ourselves how we can do it better next time so we can stretch a little further without being exhausted.

We can reflect and, in a sense, think on what better methods we might accomplish it the next time around in small increments and in between. The next day offers a fresh start for a new approach, a new way of doing things.

One great lesson of longing is from Antoine De Saint-The Exupery's The Little Prince when the fox educates the small prince about the power of longing. When the little prince is alone in the bush on a journey far from home, he hears the voice of a fox. We hear the echoes of life's longing in the dialogues over and over. We yearn for a life filled with contentment, love, and care from our loved ones.

Longing comes in a rainbow of hues. It's possible that longing is what distinguishes us as human beings. We can dare to hope for a better personal future by holding onto our dreams. We've all seen images of refugees who dared to flee their childhood homes in search of a more secure and liberated existence. What about the orphaned and neglected children who yearned for love from their parents? At this exact moment, many of us want for a return to life before the pandemic, free of masks and lockdowns.

Longing, like any other deep and personal connection, requires patience and perseverance. It's a long, drawn-out process. We take a seat and wait. Slowly, steadily, we move closer to the other.

Human beings have the capacity to appreciate the beauty of relationships. We can be-long because of our longing. Relationships aren't something we should take for granted. Human beings need one another in order to thrive and grow. We've been relying on each other for far too long. We must also remember to reach out to those who are lonely, alone, or in pain.

We can only reach for the future if we dare to hope and long.

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