The Land of the Butterflies

The journey I have partaken as I trek to Mount Kupapey.

Photo by Aldrino on Unsplash

I can hear the leaves whispering to me her secrets. The rustles and the applause of mother nature rush through my ears as I try to listen to her treasures. In each rock I clung to, the birds sang in harmony, urging me to go on, to continue the quest I set myself on to. In each step my feet lead me, the butterflies rest on my hand, before leaving in the direction I set out to walk on, encouraging me to go on. And when I reach the top of the mountain, I can hear mother nature blessing me with the view. I have uncovered her secrets, but there is more. So much more. She has entrusted me a mission I find impossible to accomplish, but one I dare not disobey: to uncover all her jewels, and see her majesty for what it is worth. She is terrifying, beautiful, and exhilarating. Walking alongside her, she is peaceful yet hostile. She is solitary yet resounding. She is a world and a universe within her own. I wish to be sucked in as she had invited me to, yet I know, and she knows, that sooner or later I have to leave.

And I hated I have to leave. And so, I did what any person would have done. I sought to find her, and seek her once more.

But the second time around, it was different. She didn’t want to be seen. Not this time. She looked different–as if I was looking at another person, and in a way I was. She has told me beforehand, “In each encounter with me, it will be different.” And she did not disappoint. Staring at her, nature’s orange rays are beautiful as I stare at her open-mouthed. Like David peeking through Bathsheba, looking at her is something I shouldn’t do. I should look away lest I get caught. But I can’t. Unlike last time, when mother nature was fearless and showed her full beauty, this time, the mountains hide her. She must have sensed my gaze, but little does she know that I still see her. The rays of the sun fail to conceal her beauty, when in fact, it only exposed her most vulnerable parts. We walk towards her, around her, wondering if she will let us explore her once more and reveal the secrets that she had for us once again. But as we stood there, staring at her, the crows started to shout, one after another, with each other’s lead. The clouds give way, slowly seeping and moving, giving more sunlight to the mountains. And now, I see her. Not completely, but I see her. She’s even more beautiful without the clouds. She’s gorgeous as the rays gave her the spotlight she deserves. She’s even more beautiful as the town wakes up the mountains.

Oh, how I long to return to her, to the “Land of the Butterflies” as they have called it. But in the season of waiting, I will continually look and seek her in whichever path I walk through. I will be reminded of the butterflies that led me to her, and of the purple dandelions that guided me to her secrets.

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Fayth Ong

Fayth Ong

A Filipino writer speaking against the injustices of what is happening in the Philippines.