The most important things in life sometimes don’t exist. Love, friendship, happiness, courage, faith –they don’t come in solid, tangible forms. You don’t see them take shape, you don’t feel their weight when you pack them into duffel bags prior to your next great adventure, you don’t smell, see or feel their soft furry edges. You feel like they don’t exist, that they’re a figment of your imagination, a puzzle piece from one of your wildest dreams. A formless, cloudy mess that you never know whether really is there.
There’s a guava sitting on my work desk, a gift from my colleague to my mother. Its not just any guava mind you, it’s a Thai guava, lovingly marinated and preserved till a stunning shade of jade green. It may look like any other guava, it may smell like any other guava, it may taste like any other guava, but this is definitely no ordinary guava. There is also a wooden chopstick sticking out of the guava because my colleague wanted to make it look like a Toffee Apple. This is one lucky guava disguised as a Toffee Apple. One lucky guava.
When my mother gets the guava, she’s gonna hold it and say “Wow, this is one heavy guava.” But what she will fail to notice is that the guava is probably a lot heavier than what it weighs. She will put it on the kitchen counter and hear it hit the wooden surface with a significant thud. “Wow, this is one heavy guava.” she’s going to exclaim again, once again failing to notice that it would perhaps made a louder thud, a deeper thud, if only she was willing to listen. She will never know that within the guava bears the weight of someone’s thoughts, of someone’s love. That’s why the guava hit the table with a significant thud instead of a silent mew. That’s why when she held it in her hands, it sunk into the flesh of her palms and stained her with the concern of someone else.
When my mother slices the guava, she’s gonna cut it and say “Wow, this is one amazing smelling guava.” But what she will fail to notice is that the guava probably smells a lot better than what she perceives. She will put it on a plate and feel herself salivate from its aroma. “Wow, this is one amazing smelling guava.” she’s going to exclaim again as she contemplates finishing the fruit in its entirety, forgetting to save some for me. But what she will fail to notice is how, with every slice, the scent of someone’s love permeates every nook and cranny in the room, filling up the spaces between the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinet, filling the spaces between her lashes and filling the spaces between her teeth. That with every breath she takes, she inhales the love of someone else, letting it seep into the veins beneath her skin, seeping into her.
The most important things in life sometimes don’t exist. You feel them filling up the cemented floors and whitewashed floors, you feel them seeping through the cuticles of your skin, you feel them escaping from the pores on your palms and you feel them bursting from every beat of your heart. But you never know for sure if they exist, unless you happen to receive a very green guava on your daughter’s last day of work. Maybe then you can try to feel the weight of someone’s love and the scent of their concern.