As hard as we try, we cannot predict all that we will learn with eyes closed, feeling only the sun. Now, on the first day, the holidays seem infinite. It is impossible to imagine their end. They will be made up of whole afternoons and each one of those afternoons, in that brightness, will extend for a lifetime. Now, as hard as we try, we cannot predict the amount of time that we will spend alongside the people that matter the most to us and others, yet unknown but who, after that meeting, will begin being important to us.
What will the voice of those we are to meet be like? We are so shy. What will the moment be like when we allow another to come close? What will be the first words that we exchange and, after, how will that initial uneasiness, that careful weighing of every expression, become comfortable? Now, on the first day, all the time approaching is but a pool of questions, at the right temperature, inviting a dip.
And it is almost certain that, over the holidays, we will swim or simply stay in the water feeling how, in that liquid world, in that dimension, we are lighter. There, in the water, we can fly, leave the ground. And we don’t fall or we take an age to fall and we have many opportunities to feel the extravagance of floating. It will seem to us that, if we could, we would spend all our days floating.
And it even seems that I can hear the sounds of joy: the noise of us stretching on mornings without alarms or the serene roar of the horizon when we are sitting in the early evening. It is an illusion to believe that I hear those sounds in anticipation. It is the exact opposite. This is an old happiness, it comes from the time when the laughter of children was my own laughter. That which they told me with their eyes on the first day of the holidays was equally huge and impossible to comprehend in its entirety. So, the Greek philosophers of the tenth year were lying when they said that it was not possible to repeat time. Being here, now, before the future, is absolute and irrefutable proof of that. Forgive me, marble statues.
Yes, I know, I am no child. I know that we will not be on holiday forever, but that is only a theoretical certainty, because I am with my children and my mother, this is the first day of our holiday and the truth of this present is overwhelming. This is a moment forever, in itself. Now, the holidays seem infinite and, now, within this moment, they are really infinite. That which will happen later is yet to exist, nothing can guarantee it. Now, there is that light that calmly covers us, nobody is ill, the air smells fine, a breath is taken and I am so close to my children and my mother that I can touch them. If I say a few words to them, it matters not if they are the most important or passing, they can hear me.
This is our time.
Here, I enjoy the eternity of this moment and I smile with my entire presence.
by José Luís Peixoto