The Scent of Joy
By Eric Abellana and Meravic Nalang (Counselors)
Emily Dickinson once wrote that "there is no Frigate like a book." In her poem, she described how a book could ferry us to faraway lands or unfathomable seas. That poem has a lulling melody yet a compelling voice. In counseling, we have different frigates that have helped us guide the children in exploring their faraway lands (future and goals) and unfathomable seas (past and trauma). Talk, art, and music have been a great help for several years in dealing with children in counseling. This year, the mothership was finally realized.
On May 20, the counseling department finally moved to its new space, the Alimyon Hall. Alimyon is a Cebuano word for scent/aroma. Although we use scents/aromas as an aid in counseling, this is not the reason why the space is named Alimyon. We believe that emotions put the colors to our thoughts; behavior is the scent of our emotions—a scent that can be seen rather than smelled. In this new space, play has been the frigate that helps us in dealing with the children. Toys, a lot of them, like sand trays, art materials, and musical instruments are present in Alimyon. These have evoked a lot of emotions from the children.
Joy is the dominant scent here as younger residents dive into their world as they start to play. They become attuned to the present, focusing on the story of their play. For older residents, play allows them to reconnect with their inner child with the help of sand trays. Through their play, we can have a glimpse of what they've been through; where they are going; and what they are hoping for. With smiles on their faces, excitement in their voice, and the calmness of their hearts radiate the scent of joy.
Play has always been the most comfortable language for children. You let them play with toys, and they will tell you a story. You let them play some musical instruments, and you'll hear the anthem of their days. You let them play with colors and they will give you masterpieces that outshine Van Gogh's or Monet's. Emily Dickinson was never wrong about books. They surely ferry you somewhere. Play offers the same to children.