‘Sebastian,’ the hermit crab-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Sunday, July 15, 2012
ONE of saddest realities in our lives that I am forced to admit these days is the fact that the moment we have reached some kind of milestone in our academic life, it becomes a signal for majority among us humans (except for a few adventurous spirits) to literally stop the learning process. In addition to that is the fact that we also cease dreaming and conquering ourselves after closing the classroom doors behind us.
It all seemed like we simply put an end to that quest for more discoveries and more knowledge in life and about everything connected with us by going through the “commencement exercises” as if life’s learning is up to a certain level only, and not limitless. That’s why after attending school, we then start to find a nook to comfortably couched ourselves in and conveniently forget that we are living, beyond mere existing, and that out there in the world is a vast expanse of so much more to learn and to discover.
We became self-satisfied with what’s there within the immediate confines of that particular space, unlike my friend “Sebastian,” the hermit whom I met during my brief vacation to my one and only love, Baganga, my hometown. Like most of his/her kind, Sebastian found himself a beautiful empty shell in one of those abandoned and empty seashells lying along the white sandy haven of my hometown, but unfortunately for him (or her), my searching eyes caught up with his/her slow movement as I scanned the beautiful beach of home.
Bringing him/her home back to the City, I immediately fell in love with Sebastian, but not for long. After a few days, I lost it. It saddened me so much because I have come to really love looking into its soulful eyes as it curiously and cautiously searched my own, perhaps trying to understand its situation which had completely changed. I really missed Sebastian, but what could have happened to it? Is it still exploring the concrete jungle that might have been strange for him/her, or could it have died of starvation?
Some kind of guilt feeling has kept creeping up my conscience for a while, telling myself that I should not have brought him/her with me after all. But the thought that it could be exploring its new habitat makes me feel better though. My informant says a hermit changes its abode when its body gets big for its temporary shell. Thus it perpetually seeks a new home whenever its momentary shelter shrinks in size and when its abdomen could not anymore be squeezed into its shell.
Out of necessity, Sebastian and his/her kind needs to explore and seek new possibilities not only to find something to eat for its nourishment, but more importantly to find a safe place to live in as it carries its house wherever it goes.
Sometimes it makes me feel sorry for Sebastian and his/her kind, but on second thoughts, I guess they are better equipped than us, human beings, to face life’s challenges, merely because they are created not to be comfortable with what they have.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 16, 2012.