By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
YESTERDAY, half of my day was spent looking for my keys. They are a bunch of keys that unlocks all doors relevant to me, including a room in our old house in Pozorrubio.
My memory tells me, I normally put it inside my bag after opening the room, or throw it in the bed if I carried a lot of things. At that time, I carried with me, six half-dried clothes in a hanger, a bathroom kit, a cup of brewed coffee and a heavy sling bag filled with my usual stuff and the 18th Edition of “To The Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons”, a two inch “spiritual testament” containing messages received by Fr. Stefano Gobbi in the form of “interior locutions”.
I looked on the bed, where I really don’t sleep, now filled with all sorts of books, newly-washed linens and garments I intended to give away. After emptying the bed of its inhabitants, I started to look on the side of the bed, under it, finding old files I wanted to work on but had forgotten after being overtaken by other priorities.
A possibility existed that I may have taken the bunch of keys to open the iron gate at the back to check on the plants and the germinating seeds. But the gate was locked, which was normally the case, after I did gardening. Feeling concerned that I might not be able to make my appointments, I went to the living room, which has become a bodega for the office files of two non-government organizations, a summary of the things I have planned to say goodbye to, but remained in full activation.
My last attempt was to look inside the steel cabinet, where I may have dropped it after taking out the container of the brewed coffee. The aroma of the ground Benguet coffee filled my nostrils and probably relaxed my nerves into resignation.
I thought, okay, I will stay at home, perhaps the spirits in the house wanted me to find something I have forgotten, other than the keys. So I went up to my room again, relaxed and sipped the coffee that has become cold, but remained animated with caffeine.
Among the files I unearthed while looking for the bunch of keys, is an old photo album. How long had it been since I had that long hair? I realized too, we had so many photos but none where my parents and my siblings were in full attendance together. The only photo I can remember where all of us were present was taken in Mahabagin before the orchids arrived to fill the 800-square meter ground. We found this photo a long time ago, during a challenging time in our family, in the wallet of one of my brothers, handed over by a doctor, as he was wheeled in the operating room. That photo remained in his wallet, which we handed back to him after he recovered. It is no longer in his possession.
As I was doing this, I accidentally glanced on Fr. Gobbi’s internal locutions and decided to randomly open to a page. It opened to “358: The Families Consecrated to Me”, where Mary encourages the gathering of families and making the family a place of “refuge and security, comfort and defense.”
At that point, I was certain, I found a key. It was not the key I was initially looking for, but a more important one, unlocking a door that had shut to strengthen itself to survive, but had forgotten to open again to engage, fully and creatively.
The doorbell rang, and as I stood up, I heard a jingling sound at the foot of the chair near the computer table. The keys smiled at me.
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