The journey of a learner

By Fatimah Fawziyah

I was walking down through the beach. It was 7 a.m on Sunday morning so there was no need to think or hurry up for class. I stopped at the moment to feel the breeze of wind blowing on my face and I could smell the salty of water. Really felt the tranquility. I was enjoying the natural beauty of this world. Smiling and forgetting all about class assignments that’s so disturbing in my head for the past few days and nights. I sat under a coconut tree, it was not so high just nice to get the shadow to cover me from the hot sun. The sounds of waves calmed me more. The feeling of relaxation, almost drove me to fall asleep. It’s a good feeling after all.

That morning the beach was not so crowded with people because it was Raya Haji season as most people had gone back to their hometown to celebrate the occasion. I went to Penang to stay at my friend’s house to feel the difference. In my village, people were not celebrating Raya Haji as they celebrate Raya ‘Aidilfitri. Indeed enjoying the celebration at other places really made me felt the excitement. I gained a lot of experience and lessons learned while travelling in Penang for four days.

When I was sitting under the coconut tree, suddenly a group of young people, five of them all came near to the beach, close to where I was. They were talking and laughing out loud without thinking about others. It was really disturbing me trying to enjoy the beautiful scenery and calmness. They dragged my attention to look at them and their actions. I did not do anything and just made an observation of whatever they tried to do. These young Chinese girls were happily taking pictures and selfies. Three of them were wearing short jeans and shirts, one of them wearing a black glass and a hat and another two wearing long jeans and singlets. Each of them was holding a smartphone.

I bet they even did not know that I was sitting there watching them selfie-ing. However, during the selfie session one of them accidentally slipped her leg and fell down into the water. Half of her body was wet including her smartphone. At that moment, the other four girls were laughing at her perhaps because of her carelessness. They did not help the poor girl but just laughed out loud. I can see her face turning red and she just smiled and after a while laughing also. Slowly the poor girl stood up and took her smartphone in shameless. She rubbed the sand that was pasted on her jeans and shirt. A few minutes later, they walked away.

After a while, I continued focusing on my relaxation time. Almost one hour I was sitting there. When I felt uncomfortable, I stood up and walked along the beach. I took away my shoes and held it. I folded my trousers up until calf and walked slowly in the water. I just want to feel the waves, the wet, the sand, the breeze and everything so I could keep it as memory when I go back to Kuala Lumpur. I won’t forget this moment, this feeling, and this view.

It’s 8:30 a.m tourists and locals started to fill the beach. White, yellow, black people were occupying the space of the beach. Most of them were tall and they brought together their cameras and some of them were using smartphones and any other gadgets. Perhaps they wanted to keep the photos for their memories to show to their family or maybe to make a WhatsApp profile photo. Some of them brought along their children, some just went alone and some of them were coupling. Just a usual action, everyone in world was doing the same thing, I thought.

However, there was one old folk couple that really caught my attention. They were tourists, white people, I bet coming from Europe. Walking on the beach holding hands like a very sweet young couple who just got married a day before. This sweet couple looking at each other’s eyes, talking and laughing together. They were sitting on the beach looking at the tranquility of sea and waves and the “grandma” laying her head towards the shoulder of her husband. The husband right hand hugged her waist tightly.

I was looking at the couple and suddenly I was mumbling “How sweet”. My eyes glued on them. I was standing behind and near to them. I observed both of them did not bring nor hold smartphone in their hands. Not even a camera. Usually tourists love to take photo of them but this couple really impressed me they enjoyed the scenery, made their own sweet memories together. They really spent time for each other. Never care about the world, the hectic life out there. I insisted to know more about them. I moved towards them. Now my distance with them was only four to five steps away. I could hear their conversations. Although it’s not good to eaves drop people’s conversation but because of this couple really captured my attention, they insisted me to know more about them.

The lovely part was their conversations definitely not about problems they were having or money or business. It’s just a light conversation, so sweet and complimenting each other. The conversations was going like,

“Feel good?”
“Yes, really good.”
“What makes you feel good?’
“Having you beside me now”
“We are already old, we have spent time together…Do you feel bored with me?”
“No, not a second”
“Will you stay with me a little bit longer?”
“Forever.”
“Do you love me?”
“So much.”

And the conversations continued… Sometimes they did not say anything, the husband just rubbed the back of his wife. I was smiling at the back. I can feel their love for each other. How sweet they are. How they care for each other. Although they are very old but the love still remain young, hot, and fresh.

They did not know that I was sitting behind them and listening to their conversations. Or maybe they knew but they just did not care because what they cared the most was about each other. Just look at how they took care of their relationship. It is rare! I would like to approach them but I felt it’s not good to interrupt their time and sweet moment. So I decided to just stay quiet and continued to listen.

Unfortunately, I looked at my watch it was almost 9:30 a.m. I wanted to stay longer but I remembered my friend who had said that I needed to be home before 11 o’clock as we got an invitation to her cousin’s wedding. So, I had no choice but to leave.

However, because all of that incident from the moment I stepped on this beach, I learned a lot. Sometimes people we call friends will never help us out when we got into problem, they just laugh at us. It is we that need to try to stand up no matter how bad we feel. Therefore, choose our friend wisely.

The old couple really made my mind to hold on tightly to the person who is with us through thick and thin. He is the one who truly loves you and always be there for you. I learned that we have to cherish the moment with the love one, value the time while spending time together. This is because the memories we keep in photos are totally different from memories we keep in our heart and mind. We can feel the bonding and increase the closeness of relationship between each other, especially with family members and parents.

While walking away from the beach, I suddenly remembered my lecturer who once said, “One incident might make a day, a good day, but you do not have to wait for it. Evaluate your day by the little thing that we go through in life.”

From that moment, I started to realise that we are the one to choose whether to be happy or sad today. And I decided to be happy. I smiled all along on the way home.***

Fatimah Fawziyah

Just an ordinary person who love doing extraordinary thing in her own way.

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