This photograph of my niece, Brynn, was taken days ago in Brevard, North Carolina. I caught her running down the drive way to catch up with Kemper. The morning was fog-filled, wet and cold, but spirits were high. It was my dad’s birthday, and the whole St. Amand clan went on a morning constitutional around the property. The kids splashed in the puddles and the swelling creeks, their wellingtons no match for the cold water. They sat on the rocks, and almost in unison dumped out their boots one by one, seeming to compare who had sloshed more water in than the other. Nature in North Carolina is singularly different than in Florida, especially in the winter, where the nights are almost silent, except the steady rain on the metal roofs of the cabins. At home the tree frogs, unphased by the balmy December nights, chorus with the crickets. I miss North Carolina, and I know that a piece of my heart remains in the rolling hills and willow trees that wait for my return.
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