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Twenty Four Oceans

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Happy Birthday and Hello

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The Long Drive Home


My father and I stepped out into the brisk, albeit muggy, evening. We were discussing a film we had just seen in a theater in Downtown Raleigh. As we meandered our way back to our car, I took some deep breaths of the heavy air and allowed it to fill every vestibule of my lungs.

After being away from home for two semesters at a university in Idaho, I had finally returned to North Carolina for some much needed respite from a mentally and emotionally weighty past few months. I had hoped the time in my hometown would be somewhat cathartic and that after the two months I planned on spending there, I would feel refreshed and ready to go back and face the future.

Little did I know the catharsis would begin so quickly.

As we walked along the dewy sidewalks of our historic town, my father put his arm around my shoulder. No words were spoken, but a silent appreciation for my presence was completely tangible in his brief embrace. A feeling I had recently been stripped of was reaffirmed. I knew I was loved.

As we entered the car and drove off into the evening, the crescent of the moon was visible behind the hazy evening sky. A glow emanated from it; a halo. A smile crept across my lips as I looked upwards at the stars in between the buildings of metropolitan Raleigh.

As our journey took us further from the urban heart of the city, trees replaced brick as our corridor, guiding us back to the place we knew as home. I closed my eyes, feeling each familiar turn of the road swaying me like a mother does a drowsy child. My sense of sight gone, my other senses were heightened and I could hear the chorus of insect around me; the cacophonous trio of cicadas, crickets and tree frogs, all vying for the attention of the forests. It was a concert in stereo, with performers on all sides as we wound our way further from the lights, the traffic, the world until it was only us and the symphony of God's creation. I could nearly make out the lyrics of their song. I listened closer.

"Welcome Home."


- Mike

People Who Are Obviously Bored

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