There’s always something to be thankful for everyday. Sadly, we get overwhelmed by obstacles that we meet along the way that we lose sight of this fact. We complain about heavy traffic on our way to work, but we never thank God that we are employed. We grumble about our workload while many people out there wait in long queues just to apply for a contractual job. We sigh and feel irritated when we need to wait for a couple of minutes for a ride home, but we never appreciate that we got through the day unscathed.
Why the sudden realization? Where am I coming from? My friends and colleagues at work had a great weekend on the serene and breathtaking Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. I’ll write about the trip soon, but I’ll share an unforgettable ordeal that we faced on our way home. It was one tough boat ride. Well, tough is an understatement. It felt like somebody was pouring buckets of cold saltwater on us during the ride because of the high, wild waves of the Pacific Ocean. At first, we were making fun of each splash like children. We’d even wait and watch out for various reactions when somebody gets doused with water. However, when the boatman opened his tool box and started checking his compass, we all fell silent. We were lost. And what’s worse, we were thrown off-course in the middle of the open, unfriendly sea. Although nobody got panicky, I knew that a feeling of uneasiness and fear were starting to settle in the boat riders. My friend Cindy tried to shrug it off and even asked me, “Do you know how to swim?” I said, “No.” She said, “I’ll have to save you then.” She then admitted that while we were pretending to be cool and composed, she was silently praying. I told her I was scared and it was as if a flashback of my life for the last few days that transpired played in my mind. I thought of my parents, my friends, my loved ones. I suddenly missed Crystal. I even remembered how my workstation looked like and where I left my organizer and shoes and who will use them when I’m gone.
The morbid thoughts were shooed away when the rain dissipated and the vision started to clear up. A faint outline of the island began to appear on the horizon. I started breathing normally. But we were not safe from harm, not just yet. The crew on the boat had another problem to fix. The water pump which was supposed to keep water out of our boat started to malfunction. It seemed as if things where taking a turn for the worse. A part of me was waiting for a shark to appear or a thunder to strike the boat to end our misery.
But hey, I’m still here! Alive and kicking. We eventually made it to our destination, soaked in saltwater but with smiles on our faces. Smiles of relief, definitely. When we got off the boat, I cannot wait to wash off the icky feeling of sand and salt sticking to my hair so I forgot to murmur a little prayer to thank God for deciding that we should all get through that crazy ride and continue on with our lives.
As tired as I was when I reached home, I still spent a good part of the night mulling over what just happened. I’ve experienced turbulent plane rides and took risks by riding smaller boats before, but that was by far the most perilous ride I’ve ever been in. So for the past three days, whenever I wake up, I say an extra thank you because I still get to see the sun rise. It’s a beautiful thing, but we don’t notice it, right? Why don’t we start the day thanking God for another chance to embrace life’s beauty?