I cherish particular moments after football sessions with the kids of Dream Big Pilipinas. During the rainy season, sessions are cut short whenever the rain pours abruptly.
I see the kids every time, scatter like ants, grabbing their bags and water bottles. The kids sprint past me with big smiles, hurdle-jumping puddles, hollow blocks, and construction setups. I look at each of them as they pass me, but none pay any attention.
With the exception of two team captains, the football field empties in seconds.
We gather all our gear into a giant fish-net that we transformed into a ball-carrier. We clean up very slowly. None of us in a hurry despite the rain. Our shoes fill up with water; mud on our faces rinsed. We hardly say a word to each other in these moments. It is prayerful silence.
I like keeping my head up with my eyes closed, feeling and hearing every drop of rain on my face. My thoughts are different at these times. My worries and my fears are completely suspended and shelved. I experience pure gratitude and love, by just being fully present to the moment. I don’t often get to this mode of thinking gracefully, but when it rains on the field, I do so without fail.
So much, that I do get perhaps someone else is at work; perhaps the thoughts in my heard are not just mine anymore. It is a moment in the rain that lasts for a just few seconds, yet feels as though time slowed down and almost completely froze. It is an experience of emptiness and giving up –but not of being resigned to life, rather a draining of disempowerments. My shoulders grow lighter, and I am reminded that I am powerful.
Often kids usually creep up behind me and stealthily put watery mud on my hair. I jump on their backs, pin one to the muddy ground, while the other assists with a tickle attack. We laugh our way back to the community.
I sometimes look back at what could have been if i didn’t take the leap of faith into a career in social development, especially during trying times, and when I doubt my resolve.
All I really need is a little rain on the field.