I stare at my eyelids with my head tilted back entirely in the backseat of this taxi. Before I decided to shut my eyes, I read the sticker on the door I sit next to: Don't Pay if Seal is Broken. I assume it is referring to the seal of the door because of where it was stuck, and that is the only one visible. Part of it is drooping down farther than it is mean to, and has been flapping against the window for the entire ride. The poor state of the street we are driving on combined with the natural Filipino way of handling a vehicle causes me to be tossed around without rest.
I miss some normality about my days. Certain people come to mind, certain comforts, certain safeties, certain constants. One memory triggers another, and a pair of thoughts enter my mind simultaneously. Soon more, all flowing in faster than I can organize. The smallest sliver of light shines into my eyes as a thin layer of tear forms, pushing my eyelids apart minimally. But it doesn't take more than a second for us to hit a pothole in the road.
The impact of the bounce sends that single tear down my cheek, and I'm back in the dark. But it doesn't take more than another second for interruption to occur. Either being on the verge of tearing up again or being on the verge of catching the case of pinkeye that has broken out at the Children's home causes my eyes to itch. If I want relief from this discomfort, I must open my eyes.
I do what was directed to me by the itch, and discover that I wasn't forming any more tears, nor was I forming pinkeye.
The first image I see when my eyes are opened is a group of four school-aged children. One diapered and only diapered, the others ragged; all of them dirty, all barefooted, all playing, all laughing. When that scene escapes the window and continues on behind me, I see the houses held up out of high tides by not-so-sturdy stilts. Actual houses. A family goes home to this unstable, unreliable structure on stilts every single night to rest. They truly trust to find their rest…
That scene quickly escapes my window but plays on in hindsight.
My eyes were opened to the world that I was chosen and called to see. I am reminded, humbled, rejuvenated, and ready again. And I am so thankful again.
The sound of the flapping seal slowly returns to my ears as I enter back into reality. I turn and see the upper right-hand corner of my taxi driver's head in his mirror. He repositions his head up and over just enough to make his right eye meet mine in the mirror, and the life in him returns to my heart; sweaty, needy and quiet as he is. I reach into my purse and hand him the pesos he so very much needs and deserves, despite the broken seal. I step out of the taxi and reenter this world of life that I am in, with eyes wide open.