Saturday, July 20, 2024

The Buried Footprints

By John Macklien Olandag | June 10, 2021

The afternoons used to be a haven for all sounds. It was all joy and laughter as they welcomed the sunset on the horizon, finally seeing the beauty of the city lights. Stalls were already lining up wooing people to buy fish balls and tempuras to fill their hungry stomach churned by a long day of work or studies. The sound of honking horns from vehicles filled the air as they lined up inviting students for a ride home, or an unwinding sojourn around the city.

Normal life thrived on the fertile ground back in the day. Walking on the same paths as before, one will discover that they are only looking at the footprints that will surely remain imprinted on the ground. It will remain untouched and unscathed for so long until the sands from the bay will cover them.

The footprints back then were easily covered with other ones. Different soles from different souls would leave some marks telling the nature of their exuberant presence. Nature, in return, would give them fresh air to breathe telling people that it was a moment they should learn to cherish.

One will see that they are walking through a gloomy road, through memory lane.
Right now, every smile is covered and emotions are concealed. The only way one can see people’s smiles is by looking at them through their eyes, seeing what changed in their lives because of the dangers of today.

Some who had left the covered footprints now stood beyond the horizon, looking at the peaceful ground where footsteps of excitement once thrived. The seas or mountains separated friends who once could poke each other randomly. 

Looking at the eerie silence of what was once a start of parties at ten in the evening, one could not help but say, “I miss the good ol’ days,” while hurrying to go back home to avoid being caught violating the city-wide curfew.

Technology has eased the loneliness of the times, despite its drawbacks. One can never experience those same hugs and kisses as before. They would also find themselves stuck in seclusion when they see those images of beautiful spots and sceneries. The eyes that saw genuine joy looking at the smiles of their peers have become exhausted. Looking at the screen, one has been trying to absorb the same feeling they felt when they were still able to touch or feel the warmth of being with that person.

More than a year after everything went silent, life is trying to get back to normal despite the looming danger. But the footprints that are already buried underneath through time still lay silent, as those soles that marked them still stood somewhere miles away.


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