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When all you can see is golden rolling hills meeting bright, blue, not-too-polluted California sky.

When you’re driving a stick-shift pick-up named Harvey that you haven’t driven in a year (except maybe to the store and back), but now the two of you finally get to share adventures again.

When it’s 8:30 in the morning and the temperature is already around eighty-three degrees, and you know it will get close to one hundred degrees throughout the day.

When the car window is rolled down just low enough so that you feel a steady breeze across your face and hair, but not so far down that the sound of the wind drowns out the music coming from the CD player.

When the Celtic music makes your soul want to dance because it is the very essence of your heritage.

When you sing along to Celtic hymns at the top of your voice because you know Jesus really is the “High King of heaven, my vict’ry won!”

When all of those moments happen at the same time.

That moment is beautiful.

Yesterday I grumbled and groaned as I made my way to the Kern Superior Court Jury Services building.

Today I read in the paper that exactly 235 years ago, to the day, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a resolution to the Second Continental Congress stating, “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Every day I enjoy the freedoms that resulted from upholding this resolution.

Rarely do I appreciate the beauty of the freedom I have.

I own a pair of brown loafers that fit my feet perfectly, mostly because I have worn them for nearly seven years. One shoe has a hole in the toe, and the other has a hole in the sole so I can’t wear them in the rain anymore. These loafers have been a part of my life through the roughest times of junior high and high school and have now endured one year of college. They have traveled with me all over California, and have been my steady companions. They have been to numerous beaches, mountains, retreats, museums, libraries, college campuses, debate tournaments, and restaurants. The beat-up brown loafers don’t simply hold my feet; they hold more memories that I can fit into any journal.

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