As my journey comes to an end, I am starting to feel home calling to me. It is like a siren's song growing louder and stronger by the mile, pulling me back to the inevitable embrace of the people I love and the town that never seemed to small for me. I am not going back to a place diminished by what I have seen, but illuminated by it.
There is something about returning home that I cannot really describe. Seeing the strange give way to the familiar, feeling the damp air in my lungs, smelling the earthy, dirty smell of the Black Warrior River. An orchestra of insects serenades me like a military band welcoming back heroes of war from a long campaign in distant lands. I feel like a child again as I pull into the driveway, comforted again by the routine of coming home, a routine that is only reinforced by the slight deviations that accompany each individual trip.
I have come home early and in secret. My brother is in the living room distracting my parents with his digital video camera. I stalk quietly onto the porch, and then after a moments pause, I burst through the front door and yell "Surprise!"
My story is not a new one. Millions of people have made billions of journeys throughout the ages, some for pleasure, most for necessity, and all an act of discovery. The experiences that I have had and the wisdom that I have gained is not uncommon to man, and yet, in spite of their universal nature, the things that I have learned are simultaneously unique to me.
I see that truth as fundamental to the beauty of this side of life. We are all the same, and yet we are all really and truly unique. If this were not so, what would be the point in experiencing anything?
Every snow flake is made of the same substance with the same chemical properties and basic structure, and yet every snow flake is different from every other snow flake. Are we not amazingly more complex than a bit of frozen water?
I praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!