Last Friday, I traveled home with my officemates in a white pick-up, right after working hours were over. I was hoping for fine weather after having gone through an awful episode one evening when, traveling from Cagayan de Oro to Bukidnon, a landslide had us stranded inside an immobile bus for four hours. Mercifully, the weather turned out to be beautiful on that afternoon; no rain showers or capricious winds whatsoever. For two hours or so we were offered a delightful view of the green countryside – wide, expansive skies, the sporadic sights of small, wooden houses by the highway, and soft cumulus clouds playing hide-and-seek with distant mountain ranges of beautiful Kitanglad.
But for some reason, I found myself staring at the trees for most of the journey. Interestingly, the trees take on interestingly peculiar shapes as I reclined farther back in my car seat. There were trees that looked like lollipops and emerald cotton candies, and there were those that looked like pointed arrows and twisted spoons. There were trees shaped like giant bonsai-like figures and there was a tree in particular that, to me, looked like upright animal bones because this one, powdery-white in color, did not have any leaf or more than five, stick-like branches.
There were trees resembling an open umbrella, and a few that looked like open fingers. And there was one that I specifically liked, jutting out of the side of a bridge, because it looked like one of those lovely trees found in photos of African savannas, the name of which now escapes me.
In time, my eyes grew tired from all the tree-watching and I started to doze off; my drowsiness amplified by the deepening twilight. When I opened them again, we were steering down to the place of my childhood, and from where I sat the city lights were clearly visible, orange and lovely, against the balmy evening.