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I have unwrapped the most beautiful gifts. I have unwrapped them with my being.

My sense of sight has unveiled to me daily miracles. These eyes are windows to infinite wonders – the foggy mornings and starry nights. Through my eyes I have seen the magnificence of places, all these landscapes that has given me a sense of awe and rejuvenation. I have seen how the tides change. The high tide that covers the shore and invites people to swim and throw their sorrows away. The low tide that allows the sea to rest for a while and let crabs, and humans alike to wander around aimlessly. I have seen the way rainfall seems to run forward to water the rice fields, and how birds soar across the vast sky. My sense of sight has seen the uniqueness of each face – the immense diversity of beauty, grandeur, and allure. When I see, I am led to the gateway of feeling, and of becoming.

My sense of hearing has lulled my soul. These ears have listened to the most comforting music that nature generously offers – the sound of the breeze and sometimes, late night thunder. I’ve listened to the cracking of leaves and the laughter of children. I’ve been healed by the words I hear from friends and loved-ones. I’ve also heard the cries of brokenness and loneliness and these have made me learn empathy and compassion. I have heard songs and lullabies. I have listened to my own feet taking to places I deeply love. I have listened to other people’s sighs out of beauty; out of relief.

My sense of taste has made me taste what it’s like to be truly alive. This mouth has savored food and kisses. I’ve eaten the freshest fruits ripened by sunshine.  Through my mouth, I have explored cultures – and have somehow understood the difference.  I’ve taken in salt on my lips when I stand by the sea (and sometimes, I even drink my own tears).

My sense of smell has led me to the smallest yet most intimate spaces. This nose has brought me the scent of flowers, the aroma of tea. Through smelling places and people, I feel closer.  The lush forest flows through my nose and cleanses my spirit. The familiar smell of home, sun on my skin, and the changing of odors as I cycle along the roads have all made me feel alive.

My sense of touch has made feel the textures of life and have made me realize that in feeling, I understand better and love more. My skin adores the kisses of both sunshine and rain. When my hands run through the softness of faces, I am drawn to beauty that knows no forms and shapes. When my soles touch the earth, I feel that I am not alone in this beautiful home because so many have walked before me.

My senses are my gifts. I am blessed. I am honored to receive this bounty.

Words: Kristine Buenavista

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