September 15, 2018
To Walk on Clouds: A Childhood Dream
Growing up in the outskirt part of Bohol, Philippines, I never knew other places existed. I was five, but I still clearly remember the innocence of my childhood. My parents’ house was surrounded with high mountains and a rice terrace that looked like a stairway. It was a magnificent scene that I glared at every day.
Each morning I would stand outside the house watching the clouds moving towards the top of the mountain. I told myself “I want to climb up there and touch the clouds with my own hands one day”. I often asked my mother to take me with her and my older siblings to search for firewood. But she told me I was too young to climb the mountain and that my legs were not strong enough for the great distance hike.
My curiosity grew every day. I wanted to know what’s out there. Was it possible for me to reach the clouds when I am on top of the mountain? My question was answered when my mom finally allowed me to go. I was overwhelmed with excitement and energy. I ran as fast as I could and made it half way to the top when I noticed the peak seemed to be moving away as I ran. I asked my brother in confusion, “Did the mountain move?”. He just laughed at me while he scratched his head. He held my hand and together we ran towards the peak. Just when I reached the top, I looked around and was devastated. There were more mountains higher than the one I was standing on. Even the clouds were higher than I thought. Turning around I saw mountains over mountains surrounded by a calm ocean. My brother tapped my back and asked me if like the view. I replied with a sigh “I need to climb all those mountains before I can touch the clouds”.
Going home that day was difficult as I was exhausted. My mom didn’t really know my intentions as to why I was so eager to go with them to the mountain. That night I told my mom that I want to climb all the mountains until I reach the sky. I told her my biggest dream is to touch the clouds. My mom smiled at me and said, “Clouds are untouchable”.
Not only did the mountains engage my curiosity but there were a lot of adventurous landscapes to discover. Oceans with millions of creatures to depths no one has yet witnessed. Jungles with millions of species waiting to be discovered and studied and a sky that gives us a glimpse into a universe so large we are but a particle in comparison to stars that are hundreds of times larger than the Sun. With all this in perspective, maybe a dream to touch the clouds is not meant to be taken literally but should be translated as a metaphor for aiming high and at the end of each small success, there will always be more mountains to climb.