In the last five days, the Philippines has been under a slew of storms, heavy rains and flooding brought about by the tropical storm Trami. It has claimed lives, displaced thousands, and left much of the northern part of Luzon (the Philippines’ northern region) in drenched shambles.
A tragedy? Yes. But quite normal in our country, unfortunately. We go through this every year, every monsoon season. Imbalanced infrastructure, compounded with the problems of informal settlers, i.e. squatters and poorly managed drainage systems: these are all “part and parcel” of what our nation has gotten used to when the rainy season strikes around this time of year. Add that to the current corruption scandals involving pork barrel abuses in our country, and you have quite a mess, served “Pinoy” style (or, as we like to say, halo-halo, i.e. “mix-mixed”.)
Poverty. Politics. Calamity. These are words flooding my social media news feeds lately. Some are angry at the state of the nation — and rightly so.
But, despite the negatives, the “Filipino spirit” holds up. I’d say it does so every year, especially in times like these when unmerciful monsoon rains strike our nation’s morale down to all-time lows. Inasmuch as there are angry tweets shaking virtual fists and fingers at corruption in the government, there are hashtags of hope tweeting updates about relief efforts, blasting out encouragement in the face of calamity.
And this brings me comfort.
As constant as the rains and storms have been these past five days, “bayanihan” — a Filipino term loosely translated as “a spirit of unity” — has persisted. Everywhere, donation centers have opened up, and regular citizens have been working to get food, supplies, and water to those in evacuation centers. NGOs and non-profits have been hard at work, with a special mention to those organizations working to bring breastmilk donations to the evacuation centers.
As I type this — at 2 AM, this Thursday morning in Manila — I hear the hard rains pounding once again on my building’s roof. I worry that my ceiling will leak again and drench our living room, but there are bigger, more pressing issues to deal with, to pray about. At this point, I can’t help but see the similes between this monsoon storm and the storms in motherhood. They both come and go; they linger a while,; and yes, they wreak havoc where they can.
I know of several mothers in my immediate circle of friends and family who are weathering their own motherhood storms right now. A friend of mine just lost her unborn baby. My sister-in-law is in hospital right now, praying that her husband — my brother — will get through a bout with the dreadful dengue disease. Even my dear mother (who is also confined in hospital) is going through her own ordeal with a severe case of asthma.
There’s much, much more going on in the stormy seasons of motherhood than my leaky ceiling and drenched living room.
But you know what? There’s a calm to the storms, too. I know one day, these rains will move out of the Philippines, and that we will see the sun soon. The weather forecast may have been wrong in saying that the storm left our country at 7 AM, Wednesday morning. But then again, you can never really tell the end of a storm, can you? Right now, all we can do is pray, hope… and though we might cry a bit, we know we’ll be able to take it.
How? Because storms always run dry. Rains don’t last forever. And neither will the storms we encounter as mothers. We just have to wait out the seasons long enough to see their end.
Are you going through your own motherhood “storms” right now?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Martine de Luna, who blogs over at Dainty Mom, and works as a small business & blogger solutions strategist over at Martine De Luna Media. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter, or follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration.
Photo credit to http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/49875