I remember this song for another reason, though. I had a tape (retro!) of this album by Kenny Loggins ten years ago, and it was one of those albums I kept in my dad's car for him to listen to. One time we were on our way to fetch my sister from a high school recollection along Tandang Sora, and this was playing in the background while we were on the road. Suddenly Dad noticed the street we were going into was familiar, and asked me,
"Hindi ba't nandito ang bahay ni
"Bakit nga pala hindi na siya pumupunta sa atin?"
"Wala na po kami, Daddy." We had recently broken up less than a month ago then.
He paused, decelerated the car, looked at me and gently said,
"Kaya pala malungkot ang anak ko. Pasko pa naman."
I wanted to sigh and say thanks for stating the obvious, but it was too early for me not to be affected. I was only 19, but was usually expected to act older than my years, and that meant not showing any sign of weakness, especially when it came to boyfriend issues. Yet for a moment while riding on that bumpy road, I was allowed to acknowledge losing a love I tried to fight for. Daddy remained silent, while I shed my tears as clandestinely as I could.
As I listened to it tonight, it struck me again, albeit differently. Whilst a decade ago I was dwelling on how to nurse a broken heart, today I discover that Christmas is when that big, empty space in my heart is given a lot to be filled with. Daddy would probably say the same thing to me now and I would still stop myself from sighing, because now I find that It's not so much of being alone as it is being available for more people in need.
Going home from Hangad's Isabela concert last weekend and from an office outreach activity today gave me a sense of purpose: I, my family, my job and my friends remain, because of the strength of a collective love that is meant to be shared, celebrated, and sung. This love, which began many Decembers ago, is what brings us the hope of sunrise after a dark night.
This season may have a few poignant moments for me, but for the most part I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for everything good that has happened in 2008, and truly hopeful for a brighter 2009.
Happy Christmas, everyone.
Once upon a dream
Moonlit wings come into view
Winter casts her spell
And all the world is born anew
A child sees a star through a window
He knows with all his heart
That wonder is coming
Only in December
Are hearts so full
Or feel more alone
Could it be the same
Only in December
Can the broken heart
Feel so alive
And the autumn ashes
Become the fires of December
Can I be inside
And out of the cold
Still I know
December always leads me home
I still believe in magic
Always leads me home
And I still believe in miracles, yes
Still believe in Christmas
I still believe in love