THE DAY I VISITED OUR ANCESTRAL HOUSE
I received a text message that the house where I spent my youth and jump-started inspired moments in my career has been haunted already.
Accordingly, there were unusual incidents whenever the neighbors would perchance take a glimpse at the structure—lights would open at night, when in truth, almost all light bulbs no longer flicker, shadows are moving along the walls, eerie sounds emanating at pathways, and something strange would ensue, like there is pervading sweet smelling scent of flowers (when Tatay’s flower garden had long past been withered already) in the concrete lawn.
No, I will never call the Ghostbusters!
Of course, I would not even entertain the thought that our ancestral house has become a coliseum of poltergeists. Nor subscribe to the allegation that the Mt. Olympus of the netherworld has been transferred there.
True, for quite sometime, the place has been abandoned and left at the mercy of dust and occasional visitation of cats which my father, before he departed, almost organized an army of feline specie. There was no basis even for supernatural beings or ghosts, if you may, to populate the area since our residential house is situated in a highly urbanized area and not in some remote spooky place.
What made it a lonely edifice was the fact that it has been uninhabited for a while. On record, it has been one of the most festive abodes during my youthful days, when my parents were at the zenith of their respective career and in the case of us, the children, when the world as simpler and much easier to govern because of scholarship and discipline.
We, the children, had no way of looking at life and our future with trepidation and fear. We even had no concept of crime and trouble except that which we saw in movies and in our neighbor’s black and white TV sets. We may not be blest with charms or talismanic armor, but life at home was a grand paradise for everyone in the family. We almost had everything, well, less material though but at least, we had each other. And we were all contented and happy praying together, staying together.
When we grew up and had to face the challenges on our own, when our parents grew older and had to confront senior moments on their own, that was the period when that which bound up became loose, our concentrations had spread wider and virtually our sights began to weaken as we all try to individually strengthen ourselves in the face of reality. We must have to brave the world and leave the confines, the barricaded walls, the safety of our dwelling in favor of survival.
I could just imagine our ancestral house jittery and trembling with developments happening within its hallowed grounds. We were all moving in different directions, the children outwardly, the parents inwardly. That has always been the recurring theme of houses where great memories have been founded, prodigious sentiments formed, boundless feelings amassed.
Once its occupants are nowhere, the festive atmosphere, the sacred air, the revered environment looses its luster. The house no longer could sustain vacancy, no longer could claim privacy, no longer could withhold blissful moments it had before. It becomes a shell, an empty gallery, without any brand, deprived of emotion and listlessly, a mere structure without definition.
That has always been the fate of an ancestral house where once it stands proudly and grandly. It eventually becomes instead a monument where birds and its regular droppings its constant callers.
For once it’s pompous and jovial, hearty and full of life. But like its dwellers, it only has one lifetime to spare. Unlike heaven which is the permanent home of do-gooders, their house on earth are mere transit area where temporary cheerfulness resides.
But I am stubborn on my belief. I still want to subscribe despite the fact that our ancestral house may no longer have its former tenants for they are mostly in Heaven, but their memories are still around and the house remains its home unless or until natural elements would claim its very existence.