My Morning Walk

Go on a walk on a fine morning in Toscana Homes, the subdivision where I live. Try the route I take every morning, and take it with the music I listen to.

Begin from our house, right after looking if the 36 level cairn, taller than you are, is still standing. When you reach the acacia tree, play TM Revolution’s Heart of Sword and here him tell you from the earphones that though you’re alone so long as it’s dawn you will make it. By the first chorus you would have reached where Via Montalbano meets Via Firenze, turn right.

The song would have ended by the time you reach the basketball court. Play Kodo by the Yoshida Brothers when you’re right in the center. Go on towards the pool but stop to take one of the nearby hedges’ red, aromatic shoots to perfume your hands.

Go left and enter the club house orchard. If  it rained the previous night, you get to see the young fire tree saplings bear raindrops as crystal fruits. Up ahead, you will see the bamboo tree, wild but tamed with a stone-bordered earth dais. Go on ahead until you reach the slope back up, but look back to see the Acacia tree by the stream beyond the wall, whose canopy plays host to the meeting of morning fog and the smoke of kitchens cooking breakfasts.

Return to the pool side, where you will see Amaryllis plants bearing the weight of intrepid snails. By this time Kodo would have ended. But take time to listen to the mingling chirp of the birds and crickets. If you’re lucky you, get to see birds or bats or both swoop down the pool to take a sip of the sky they can never reach.

Go to the clubhouse and greet the guard good morning. Look to the left and see the mahogany canopies yonder framed by the open windows of the clubhouse hall. When you reach the ornately topiaried round ball, play Lama’s Fantasy, and begin ascending the steep slope. Remark the singular Malibago tree, growing alone on a small hill to your left. On sunny mornings observe the slugs playing spider as they spread out little silver threads on the cemented floor.

If you’re feeling lazy, you usually end here and return home. but when you’re feeling contemplative (which in my case is most of the time) walk ahead up to the round ball at the top of the slope.  stand in front of the Arc de Triomphe and look at the Araucarias and the Talisays and the Indians and the rows of Bougainvillea hedges leading up to the ornate clubhouse. At a  certain time in the morning you will see the sun rising to your right while the moon beginning to melt into the morning behind you.

But walk on. You will meet the kind Japanese father who always takes his baby girl on a walk. You will not be able to resist greeting the always smiling girl good morning. By the time Lama’s Fantasy has ended, you have reached the crossing between Avenida Toscana and Avenida Medici.

Turn left and play Kanon Wakeshima’s Calendula Requiem. But in the absence of actual calendulas, the tulip tree blossoms strewn on the ground will have to do. Once you’ve reached the end of Via Voltera, turn left and enter the first street to the right. By the time Calendula Requiem ends, you will have a spectacular view of Mt Apo. If it is a sunny morning, the whole mountain will be golden with the sunrise. If it’s a cloudy morning you will not see the mountain but three islands peeking from a sea of cloud.

Up ahead you will see dewy grass, and the morning sunlight will make the dew into a silver blanket.

If it is Sunday and you have something published in Dagmay, go down Puan. Walk on to the direction of the subdivision gate, and don’t forget to touch the tips of the Araucarias’ branches, like little green hands.

Get on a tricycle and feel the mornign breeze of Libby Road. Once you’ve made your purchase, go back up again. Make sure to ride the tricycle driver who found Diana Tuquib’s spider poem in Bisaya lovely, and who has since then come to like reading.

By the time you reach back home you will realize that you’ve stopped playing music, and that you didn’t really need it to color your morning. In fact you can take this whole walk without the music. You’ve read enough poetry, and those who read poetry will always find something magical in even the most ordinary morning walk.

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