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  • Clear dusky twilight, the end of what had been exactly my definition of a perfect summer day. The sun was reluctantly giving way to the dim shine of the stars, and the fireflies were contributing their light as well, doing their best to replace the sun's beams. And I was in a tunnel, wind at my back, stepping into pitch darkness, unable to see a thing in front of me. But the absolute darkness ended just as quickly as it had begun and then I was in one of my favorite places, perhaps my all-time favorite, and I didn’t think about getting home because it was darkening or my imminent return to school or separation from the three girls around me or working early the next morning, none of it. I was too full for anything but sheer, unadulterated joy. The square of grass, somehow kept soft and lush in the midst of a record-breaking drought, the soft whistle of the wind through the tall trees shading us from the entire rest of the world...there was nothing else, nothing but us, and this small patch of perfection. Rocks, grass, shrubs, and the indigo sky, and I needed nothing else. Not even words. Somehow we were all on the same page. We ran. We jumped. We fell. We whirled. We crawled. We felt. We threw out our arms and smiled at the sky, intensely and personally triumphant while still together, a big, jumbled mass of pure emotion. We were like a cliched scene in an indie drama, but everything in that moment felt so real that I didn't care, and besides, I love those scenes anyway, they always get me. Fighting different fights, hoping different hopes, dreaming different dreams, and living different lives, and yet, none of us at that moment, whatever we felt, were alone. We couldn’t be, and we won’t be. Too much history, too intertwined with each other. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it, the way that people can lead their own lives while still finding the time, courage, and will to mix so completely with others. It’s what makes life worth living, though, whatever you might think—it’s how we really, truly come alive, as we did that starry, cool, unforgettable night in that incredible spot that inspires the stunning epiphany that I can do anything I want with some of the best people by my side.
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