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.
Easy/Lucky/Free by Bright Eyes -------------- Did it all get real? I guess it's real enough They got refrigerators full of blood Another century spent pointing guns At anything that moves Sometimes I worry that I've lost the plot My twitching muscles tease my flippant thoughts I never really dreamed of heaven much Until we put him in the ground But it's all I'm doing now Listening for patterns in the sound Of an endless static sea But once a satellite's deceased It blows like garbage through the streets Of the night sky to infinity
But don't you weep (don't you weep for them) There is nothing as lucky Don't you weep There is nothing as lucky, as easy, or free
Don't be a criminal in this police state You better shop and eat and procreate You got vacation days then you might escape To a condo on the coast I set my watch to the atomic clock I hear the crowd count down 'til the bomb gets dropped I always figured there'd be time enough I never let it get me down But I can't help it now Looking for faces in the clouds I got some friends I barely see But we're all planning to meet We'll lay in bags as dead as leaves All together for eternity
But don't you weep There is no one as lucky Honey, don't you weep There is nothing as lucky, as easy, or free