The Still Point in My Turning World


This was my winning essay in the 22nd Akegarasu Haya Prize Essay Contest – Junior Division. The title was borrowed from an event in the Mainplace a long time ago…They took it from a certain writer (I don’t know his or her name). Anyway, it was about and for my mother. Read on~

Welcome to the 21st Century – an epoch where the whole world is only a click of a finger away; where everything happens in nanoseconds and milliseconds, and where every person’s worth is gauged by the work he does and how busy he is. But, amidst the restlessness and hurly-burly of everyday life, everybody longs for a still point; where time stops, and where you could finally relax, unwind and be yourself – away from the ills of the world.

My still point is at home, with my mother. It is the only place where I feel I could be anything and do anything, facing no discrimination ever. Home always exudes the atmosphere of love, respect and tolerance, and it never fails to make me feel comfortable and happy. It has always been my sanctuary for a long time; a sanctuary that keeps me and my family safe and warm in the cold, uncaring world.

I was raised in a very unconventional family. My father abandoned us when my elder brother and I were still little kids, and I’ve never seen him since. My mother was left alone to raise us. I grew up without a father, but I never really felt like it. Mama was always there to attend to our needs, and with the help of our other relatives, my brother and I always felt loved and cherished. I owe a big part of my childhood to Mama – she who always tried to answer my questions about anything during study time, no matter how silly or nonsense it may seem to others; she who always made hot chocolate before I go to bed, she who always sat by my bedside to kiss my forehead and tuck me in.

As time passed by, my world was opened up to another significant place: school. It was in my primary school years that I felt very lonely that I never had a father. It seemed that everyone had someone to fetch them from school, someone to piggyback them during Family Day, and most of all, someone to call “Papa”. Yet, it was also in these years that I learned to appreciate Mama even more, that despite her tight schedule in the office, she was always there whenever my brother and I had school activities. She never just tried to allot time for us; she made time for us.

Even as I entered secondary school, she was still there to cheer for me during sports and academic competitions, and there was still time for her to ask both my brother and I about school. Now that I looked for answers to more mature questions, she did her best to explain them to me in a new way: serious dinner table-talk. One time, I asked her if she feels any resentment towards my father. She answered no, because according to her, when he left, he only made room for her to become stronger; not only for herself, but for us, her children, as well. Since then, I learned the value of loving and living for others, that my life should not only be lived for my own fulfillment, but also to help others achieve their dreams and live better lives.

Truly, love could not be measured by the amount of money you’ve spent, nor the number of gifts you’ve given. It’s not one of the things the human mind could calculate. Love is the language of the heart, and only another heart could receive it and understand it fully. One of the lessons I’ve learned through watching Mama’s life through the years is that love is all about being your best for someone who means the world to you. She may not have told me about it, but I always felt it – inside my heart.

I am now a college student, and I’ve had my share of ups and downs in my seventeen years of life. But, there is one thought that always keeps me going: I have a still point, and I can always go back to it to unwind, recharge and breathe fresh air. Mama made that still point possible; because no matter how many times my world turns and makes me dizzy and confused, she would still be inside our home, ready to make me hot chocolate and listen to me. Indeed, even if I fall and fail many times, knowing that Mama is always behind me, supporting me all the way…I will always have the courage to stand once again and face the world with a big smile.