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It’s funny. For years, I dreamed of the day when I could trade my small town for the wide world, but after a short time, I started to miss rambling down familiar streets. I missed the stars overhead at night, and the smell of the river in the Spring. Of everything I’ve come to love this town, I look forward to time near the river. I don’t know if it’s because it wends its way predictably and constantly in a world that is anything but constant. Or if it’s because it conjures up memories of bike rides to it in the summer, or McDonald’s picnics on a Sunday afternoon, or even stolen kisses with a sweetheart, the rushing water covering the pounding of my heart.  Whatever it is, its draw is unmistakable, and whenever I see it, I feel like I’m visiting an old friend.

On the long May weekend, I packed the boys (and the guinea pig because who doesn’t like driving for 3 hours with a small barn in the back seat) and visited my folks. We went for a walk along the river to see if the water, which had been overflowing the banks earlier in the week, had receded. In most places it was, except along the western edge where the mouth of the river widened.

I wish I had appreciated the beauty and character of my small town more before I moved away, but I’m thankful that I can always come home to say “hello, old friend”.

So old friends you must forget what you had to forgive
And let love be stronger than the feelings
That rage and run beneath the bridge
Knowin’ morning follows evening
Makes each new day come as a gift
– Rich Mullins, Hello Old Friend

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