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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: Peceptions
By Jenny Litfin-Fulton
07/11/09


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Thud!

What a heavenly sound – especially when it has the resonance of the school year’s final plopping-down-of-the-overloaded-book-bag!

It wasn’t long after that victorious feat that the restlessness made its annual visit. The busyness of the school year generally held this fluster-ating (flustering + aggravating) caller at bay, but as soon as summer arrived, it came. It began in my limbs – making me fidgety, then moved to my stomach – causing a kind of nervous butterfly feeling, then on to my heart and lungs – constricting both to the point of making me want to scream. The finale came with my mind as I began to think through all the reasons I didn’t want to be where I was.

With a relenting sigh, I followed my restlessness out the door. The heat was the first to attack me. Had I just jumped head first into an oven? The wind was a simultaneous evil – blowing my hair in as many directions as possible and giving an even stronger power to the already overwhelming hotness.

The street burned and stabbed at my bare feet as I walked purposefully toward my destination one block away. The soft, gooey bits of tar along the way were my one source of temporary satisfaction on this short journey.

The end goal really wasn’t anything exciting. There really wasn’t anything there, period. At some point in my fourteen years of life, however, this place had become my thinking/processing spot.

I arrived at this desolate reflection of my life and stood glaring at the view before me. A flat, blandly colored field stretched forever on without interruption, without change, without excitement. The nearest sign of habitation was the visible grain elevators of another miniscule town eight miles away. The mosquitoes were the most energetic source of life.

Raising my face to the equally plain sky, I vented.

“God, why did I have to grow up here? There’s nothing! I want adventure! I want excitement! I want a life full of new experiences and challenges! Lord, I’m tired of living here! How long do I have to stay in this black hole of nothingness?”

As was generally the case, I stayed there complaining for quite some time, without any response, and then began planning my summer escapes.

My goal: to get out of Kansas as much as possible.




Years Later


Rumble-rumble-thump-thump

What a heavenly sound – especially when it has the resonance of being back home for the summer!

Before my suitcases had time to fully settle on the floor, I was voraciously attacked with hugs from my sisters and parents. Tears broke loose as my heart exploded with the joy and love that had been residing for so long in the absence of these loved ones. My sisters had grown and matured, the house had experienced various changes in décor; our bond was as strong as ever.

After reacquainting myself with the house, I followed another longing out the door. I lifted my face to receive the full warmth of the sun as it spread through me, completely embracing me. Standing for a moment with my eyes closed, I turned to face the wind, smiling as it blew my hair away from my face, massaging my head with gentle fingers.

The street greeted my bare feet with the same intensity it always had. This time, however, the texture of the gravel felt more like a massage than a bunch of evil pinpricks. I looked excitedly around for the bits of tar – feeling like a small child as I paused to play with the gooshyness.

Now experiencing more than a little giddiness, I continued on my way, the anticipation building with each step.

The view opened like a tapestry before me as I savored the beauty it presented. A bright blue sky encompassed the world – interrupted only by an occasional cloud. The golden field spread across the land without any structures to steal its freedom. Thus, the land and sky moved without equal until they met together at the edge of my vision – holding the world in peace and simplicity.

Raising my face to the endless sky, I rejoiced.

“Thank you, Lord, for where you’ve brought me from; for all you’ve brought me through; for where you have me now. The challenges would have overwhelmed me if not for you. Thank you, my Savior, for the peace and rest you are once again allowing me to have.”


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Member Comments
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Seema Bagai 07/16/09
Loved the contrasts in this piece as the MC matured. Good work.