Passionate Presence

Angela Koontz, 126

The day has come to an end. The heat engulfs me as I walk out the door. I march over to say hello to the dogs who gallantly stride across to meet me. I take a seat to tie my shoes followed by a few stretches. I take a warm, comforting breath and step onto the pavement.

I feel the Earth around me as the sugarcane fields follow me on my journey. The cranes wade in the farmer-made canals, looking for an early evening meal. Children are playing in the canal enjoying a cool end to their day. They offer a greeting as I swiftly pass them, keeping to my pace as my body begins to feel the warmth of the air that surrounds me.

The scenery changes to rice fields where a beautiful hue of vibrant green takes my breath away. At this moment, I pause to capture the place I am currently in. I radiate with a smile that is drawn from the setting sun and warms my heart as I feel so thankful for this experience and so many more like it. I do my best to hold onto this place in time by taking a picture of the nature. So that I am able to behold it, but know that pictures will never quite hold onto to what the eyes and heart have felt.

As I press forward, determination in my heart, I carry the day with me. I let the moments that have been imprinted become everlasting memories to which I reminisce. I see the smiles of the students that welcome me at the school, so much excitement on their faces. I hear the sounds of conversation amongst friends, adding character with each word spoken. I smell the meals that laid before me, as I prepared myself for a spicy kick. I take this time to let the ambiance that fills my vision become the canvas for which my daily masterpiece may be displayed.

I come to the turning point where I cheer myself on to keep my pace. I have done this route many times before and my body remembers the way, staying strong, pushing forward. I see the sun coming close to the horizon as I am making my return and quicken my pace. The bugs have come out to play on the banks of the canal. I dodge them as best as I can with blinking eyes, seeking the end. I think ,“The faster you run, the faster you’re done”, a saying for myself to keep the motivation. I am ready for rest.

I turn onto the final stretch. The early evening light has fallen and I am eager for a cold drink of water. I find the dogs enjoying a hearty dinner so kindly provided by the guard’s wife. A feeling of accomplishment covers me as I go forth to retrieve my bicycle. I let a smile cross my face as I see the guard sitting, enjoying a show on the dated TV. A dog named ‘Bear’ is sitting ever so patiently at his feet. With my helmet fit snug in place, I mount my bicycle and I whisk home thinking of the meal prepared.

The warm and familiar light of my family’s home greets me as I arrive. I feel the presence of my family before I enter the doorway; the music of their voices amongst the sounds is well orchestrated. As I make my presence known I hear my name from afar, “Angieeeeee” which grows closer as my 4 year old niece comes beaming towards me to envelop me in a wonderful embrace. I cherish this moment in time, how special this feeling is.

My heart is full.

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