A story of a young boy that will remind us that best things happen to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Once upon a time there was a poor little boy who lived in the middle of a forest. His parents, both farmers, own a small piece of land in which they plant rice to earn a living. Their earnings are usually enough for their food everyday and for his education. No trace of luxury can be found in their humble home and improvement was as vague as a sky in the middle of a storm.
His everyday routine is physically challenging. As poor as a mouse, his parents can’t afford to give him money to buy packed lunch in school. To fight hunger, he will wake up early in the morning to catch catfish in the rice fields nearby and then goes back to their shack to cook it. He will take some of the fish to his parents in the field and some of it he will bring with him to prevent starvation.Since there is no vehicle available to take him to school, he needs to walk in the muddy road for more than two kilometers. At first, it is a bit much considering how young he is. But soon enough, his feeble legs has withstood every aching muscle. To divert his attention, he will look for mushrooms in the forest and covers it with leaves and twigs so forest animals would not eat it. He will again come back after school and pick up the prized mushrooms and cooked them for dinner. Sometimes, when he have more than enough, he will sell it to their neighbors to earn extra money.At school, he doesn’t have much either. He uses old plastic bag as a backpack to carry his things. When he needs eraser, he will cut a portion of his slippers and tie it in a knot and use it to clear away all those mistakes in his paper.
One night, seeing that his parents are tired from working whole day in the field, he offers to prepare supper. But, he found out that there is no more milled rice left. So, even his young arms can barely handle a pestle, he forced himself to pound hard to remove every single rice bran. Just not to disturb his exhausted parents, particularly his mother. He developed calluses later that night. But no hint of strain in his face, not even close.
During his free time, he will rest under his favorite acacia tree, a hundred steps away from their house to write poems and dreams away. He hopes someday that he can get away with their poor lives and see for the first time what lies beyond the forest. What it really feels like to experience the world out there.
He told himself that his dreams will remain a dream unless he takes action. When he told his friends about his plans, a lot of them raised their eyebrows. They drained all the positivity that he owns. Slowly, they became the demon he is scared of. The beast that deliberately robs his dreams away from him. Uncertainty starts to build up and resignation is within his grasp. But, everything was shaken up when the power of his urge to go on prevail. Everyone thinks that his dreams are too absurd but he never pays attention to all the mockery he gets. Instead, he focus on getting good marks and silently wishes that someday, he will prove to them that following your heart was the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Little by little, as time goes by, with the help of his parents, he was able to save up. When fate gives him the opportunity to study in the city, he immediately grab it. He was ecstatic. All his aspirations are starting to become real. For the first time in his life, he felt great desire to continue.
But, living in the city is different. A far cry from the peaceful life he once have in the forest. It was chaotic, temptations around the corner, and doubt is clearly visible at the end of the tunnel.
There were days that he was so emotionally tired and can’t take another step. And there were also nights that stars seems to lost its shine.
He was on his own. No parents. No friends. No one. Just him and the persistence that he once have.
So, jaded as he is, he tried again. He needs to walk on because he can’t go back now.
He needs to go where he needs to go and to be what he wants to be. All the important steps in life are the ones you take all by yourself and he will hold on to that belief for as long as he lives.
Prayers were heard and light has eventually came into view. He was able to work in a big ship which can bring him to every part of the world. And much to his delight, everything looks better than photos. He indulged on the comfort that he never experience when he was still a child. And impossible as it may seem, just like a unicorn, dreams do really come true.
All the calluses he received as a remnant when he was a kid, physical and emotional side pushed him to strive for the best. And now, he is reaping the fruits of his sweat and tears. His life in the forest has trained him to be more than tough and his experiences in the city has been his lifetime coach.
I can say that he is very happy on what he has become. I am certain because I personally know this man.
He is my father.