--The ocean, and being able to ride my bike to it. I miss the way it smells, and while every once in a while a pond in a park here will smell like the sound does at low tide or after it rains, it isn't the same. I miss the way a wave lifts your body, the sound of the ocean. And of course the south end of Wrightsville at night. There's nowhere better in the world to go to think or talk or pray than there. Such a full place.
--Our neighborhood, our beat-up, sketch neighborhood. In the last few months I've got news of scary stuff happening there, and while more than anything I'm glad everyone is okay, it makes me miss it some. There were so many reminders to persist in love in that place: how our street seemed to be segregated by speed bumps into black/hispanic/white, the scrappy little kids whose crazy life at home we heard in every word they said.
--Of course the people. And it taking under twenty minutes tops ever to get to them. And movie nights and stretching out on each other's living room floor without worrying about how late it is even if we have class or work at eight a.m....
--Going barefoot just about everywhere (I think the Romanians think I'm filthy or maybe just boyish for not ever wearing shoes at volleyball).
--The pine trees and the sand and Sun Drop whenever I please.
--HUGS! Can't emphasize this one enough.
--Carolina Beach and the whole feeling of that place, impromptu worship sessions and beach camping and the way being at the north end of the island or down toward Kure Beach at night felt like being on the margins of the world, just ocean and a stretch of stars and cold sand.
--Oh, and the river, Kilwin's, the 4th of July fireworks over the Battleship and driving downtown at two in the morning blasting epic battle music from Lord of the Rings and freaking out all the drunk people as they leave the bars.
--And last but not least, a common thread that seems to be appearing: playing. I'm all for being serious and having conversations about life and what you love, but I also like to be silly and do handstands and tease and prank and play. And we do that a little bit here, but not nearly as much and it's harder to share it.
And a whole ton more. However this list is not complete without the things that are making me happy about living in Bucuresti so keep an eye out for that one.