The Lady In Slippers Who Taught Me Simplicity

It was one of those times I rode an ordinary bus....


I was lamenting about rays of the sun making the atmosphere inside the vehicle warm. I was on the verge of impatience as the driver took so much time waiting for passengers.  I was concerned about strands of my hair going wayward with wind blowing from the window to my left when an old lady entered the bus with such an unperturbed countenance. She took a seat across mine. It wasn't her slippers that caught my attention first....

It was the way she held what she was eating, in an almost worshipful manner that struck me. I wondered what it could be as she silently munched with gusto. 

I figured it was "Bibingka" a native cake made from rice flour. She ate it slowly savoring the taste peculiar to simple native delicacies.  At one point I found myself envious of the peacefulness her image emanates. I was tempted to stare longer and dissect what it was that I found inspiring in her which apparently has already won over my lamentations.  


Her feet were comfortably crossed over each other and wearing the simplest unfashionable yet comfortable slippers.  Something many of us won't flaunt when leaving home. Yet in several seconds I found myself ashamed of the expensive pair of wedged sandals I was wearing. I actually adored the old lady's outfit which I surmise might also be her day to day garb. Yet I saw the dignity and undeniable pride of the price of hardwork in her eyes as she took another piece of something to eat from her bag. To my surprise it was another one to my liking! A slice of watermelon which seemed to quench her thirst. 

After finishing off a slice of watermelon she took her towelette and wiped her calloused happy hands. The way she casually flicked them gave me the message she is happy and contented. She then counted the coins inside her dress pocket and the scarce bills on a zippered wallet, the kind which is the simplest in the market. I felt proud that my wallet isn't expensive too as I saw the spark in her eyes gleaming with happiness from a hard day's work. 


When the lady occupying the seat infront of her alighted she transferred and the manner she held a piece of folded box like it were her most precious possession made me smile and chuckle about the bags and gadgets I have and tend to dismiss at times. "How unappreciative of material blessings I am at times Lord! I am sorry."-I mumbled to myself. 

The bus took a halt at a gasoline station and the lady must have read my mind, looked at me and smiled, such a lovely grin. I offered to trade seats with her because it was getting too warm on her side of the bus but like a sweet old lady she declined and talked about eggplants and other veggies she had in her bag. I didn't quite understand what she meant because the machinery noise drowned her words. I just knew she spoke of life's simple problems and equally simple yet incomparable joys.


I wanted to take a photo of her face to share with you but I think that would be invasion of her privacy and I did not have the courage and time to ask for her permission.  Instead I took a snap of her hands while she held on to the railing of my seat as we spoke. 

She wears a ring and from that I guess there is a beautiful tale of love that waits for her at home....one laden with hardships yet constantly battled and won with hardwork and Love...


....may everyone of us be gifted with hands that know how to count blessings...
Forever grateful for family and friends around the world....

_Kulasa....








2 comments

  1. That was a very touching post. Thank you.

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  2. simpleness in life, seeing them makes us indeed ponder and reflect that really, life is beautiful no matter what, we look at them, and we are affirmed that we are taken care very well of.

    i miss the bibingka. i once sat next to an old lady in the bus, she is a Filipina, and she was singing, "hindi kita malimot...." haha, sorry, I forgot the lyrics, anyway, usually the bus driver or someone would remind respectfully to give other passengers the right to enjoy silence in the bus, but at that time, no one minded, I guess, they all were touched by the old lady's happiness and singing her heart out loud.

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