Sunday, January 28, 2007

Whoa... look at him go....

I found this online this morning... Man, that guy's incredible!

This one's also great:

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Story

This is the story of my life. I was inspired to write it at Desert Challenge, and here it is now:

I don’t belong here writing this today. None of us deserve to be here. God could have ended the world on page 2 of the Bible. But He didn’t. Why? Because He wanted something to love. He wanted something to glorify Him. Looking at the world today, you wonder how many people love Him back, and how many people glorify Him.
I’m not here to preach to you. I’m here to tell you my story, and how God has worked – and is still working – in my life.
I was born to Christian parents who loved the Lord and raised (and are still raising) my and my siblings to follow Him. They also wanted to serve God in the Middle East, so when I was two, we went to Jordan, where my parents learned Arabic. We expected to be back in a few years, when we left for the states in ’98. However, my dad needed more flight time to work as a pilot there, so we moved to Michigan and worked among the Muslims there for eight years. When I was eight or so, I “prayed the prayer.” I knew what Jesus had done for me, and was glad he ransomed me. I was baptized when I was nine, and though I’ve turned my back on God since, he’s always brought me back to Him.
I guess the main thing I want to share about my and my walk with God is a series of events that lasted from December 2005 to the present.
The first is my dad being laid off from North West, the airline he flew for in the states. We had known since November and had been able to prepare for it. By the time January ’06 came around, he had two interviews in the Middle East lined up: one with Qatar Airways and the other with Emirates. My friends and I talked a lot about this, and prepared for our possible move. My dad got both jobs. For a month, we faced this decision, weighing the benefits and hardships each job/country had. Finally, we decided in Dubai. The next three months were a blur of preparation for both our move and the upcoming dance recital. The recital came and left; I left Milligan School of Ballet behind. Only a week or so after the recital, my parents took me out for dessert. I had no idea what was coming until it was upon me: due to a hip tilt, I could never go on pointe without overworking myself. It was then I realized that God wasn’t really the first thing in my life anymore. In my pain and agony, I found myself turning to Him and crying out to God for help. Thankfully, I’m over it now, but I had at least a month where I was devastated. Less than a month later, we watched as all of our earthly possessions were loaded on to a huge container bound for Dubai. A week later, my dad left Michigan for training in Dubai. The next six weeks were spent in Skype-calls with my dad, farewells, and packing. We left Dubai on August 8th. Though excited, both Cait and I had a little pang of sadness for everything we were leaving behind. The first month in Dubai was great, other than the heat. But sometime in September, I had my first huge wave of homesickness. It lasted until NYPE Dubai, a big event at Youth Group, when kids from Al Ain come out. At NYPE, I gave up all my troubles to God – and wondered why I hadn’t done it earlier. Mid-September I had started dancing (partially the cause of homesickness), but by November, I was sick and tired of the school, the syllabus, and the students’ and teachers’ technique. I had my last class December 16th. Over Christmas, I struggled with what to do next. I was blind to see God’s direction in my life at that time. Desert Challenge came, and it changed my life forever. Since then, I’ve wanted to be with God, in his presence, wanting to fill up that longing for Him that’s inside of me. And there, there I gave my whole self up to God, to serve and love him with everything I am. It’s not easy – already I’ve failed Him. But I’m so much happier walking with God than alone with myself. I reached my decision about what to do next sometime last week: instead of doing ballet, I would do Highland Dancing. Going to OSAS would be hard; the majority of the dancers are skinny and dress immodestly. But I know God can use me there.

If you’re not a believer, I have something to say to you. You probably got lost in what I’ve written so far, but please, if you get anything out of this, get this:
When you have problems, remember: you're not alone. I have problems, too. A few times, I've also seriously considered cutting and other hurtful anti-depression things. But then I remembered - I have Jesus' love. He heals me every time. And when you feel like you can't let go of cutting, it's as if you're a slave to it. You know what? You've been set free.
Jesus came as a ransom for us. God sent his ONLY SON to die for us, so we could be free from sin. You've sinned, I've sinner. We've all sinned. We've all fallen short of God, and we can't get to Him and heaven on our own. The good news is, since Jesus came and died for us, taking away all of our sins, then rising again to show God's great glory and power, we don't have to go to hell. All we have to do is to believe.

God loves you. He sent Jesus to die for YOU. To ransom YOU from your pain and hurt.

You are loved - more than you could ever, ever, EVER imagine.
All you have to do is accept God’s free gift to you and to mankind. It’s that simple. We’ve fallen short of God. There’s only one way to come back to Him, and that’s why Jesus had to die for us – to crush death, and its sting.

For my brothers and sisters in Christ: Colossians 1:22-23 states: “He has now reconciled (note the past tense – we’ve already been reconciled – if we accept it) in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if in deed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which, I, Paul become a minister.”
IF. Be sure you do your part of the promise: continue in the faith. Don’t shift from the hope of the gospel.
And go out into all the world!

One last thing before I end. A poem I really wanted to share with you:

When I say "I am a Christian"
by Carol Wimmer

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it

When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name

When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved

So what about you? What’s your story?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

For My Girl Readers

For all the girls who read my Blog, and for all the boys who read it and have sisters, these are some links and articles about modesty and guarding your heart:

By my dad:
Fashion today is a great example of the fact that in our "free" society, we have very little choice. Girls' tastes are not their choice, they have been brainwashed by models, musicians, marketing (what is advertised and made available in stores), and moviestars into valuing a particular style of dress that is readily available. This is in fact cultural, and varies from place to place (when I was in high school, the jeans my cousin liked in Colorado, Uncle Tim and I thought were "ugly" and unattractive, in Washington). Styles change quite regularly - again driven by models, musicians, moviestars and marketing.

The further the society drifted from the Lord in the west, the more there was a conscious effort to wear away at society's values of what kind of clothes are acceptable: how much skin is shown and how tight the clothing is. In less than a century, we went from ankles, wrists, and upper neck to strap bikinis. Girls who wouldn't walk around at school in their underwear, will wear swimsuits more revealing than underwear at a pool party and not see a contradiction! At the same time, fathers and pastors lost influence to equality (fathers have no special authority) and relativism (what is right and wrong is relative to your situation - no absolutes), and even worse, men are captivated by the female body and many are quite happy to see more revealed. What kind of a person do you want to look at you or be attracted to you? A man who is quite happy to have used, worn merchandise (though he will still find many features to praise and say you are precious, as he told the last and the next one), or one who only prizes a valuable, guarded protected treasure (who himself wants to guard himself for his wife, though he struggles with all that is offered up before him in uncovered bodies)?

Today when all kinds of dress are (1) available, and (2) accepted by peers, the issue of modest dress truly becomes a matter of relenquishing one's rights ("I CAN wear that, but because I value my body as a treasure to be adorned for my husband, and because I have the power to unnecessarily cause guys to sin against the Lord by tempting them with the lure of my curves to lust, I choose not to").

The modesty thing is primarily "one way" (affecting girls' dress more than guys) because a guy's dress is typically not a means to make a girl stumble and sin. A handsome guy with his shirt off may be attractive, but the attraction won't lead to a temptation that is sensual in nature, more likely a desire to be cherished and protected by his strength, and to be seen with him, which could lead to a temptation for her to use her feminine abilities, flirtation, and immodesty, to capture him. The same could happen with his football gear on!

About guarding the heart, the quoted passage about guarding your heart is from Proverbs 4:23 but in the chapter "My son" is addressed 3 times. It applies to daughters, but is addressed to son, and how he should walk in wisdom and hold fast to instruction that will give him healing in life. He should look straight ahead and not swerve to the left or right (25 - 26). The next 3 chapters are all about sexual sin - though mostly about faithfulness to his wife and withstanding the temptation of the aggressive woman, rather than not defrauding another girl.

The command most applicable to young men is: 1 Timothy 5:1-2, where Paul instructs Timothy to treat younger women like sisters, in all purity. What should a guy do when tempted: FLEE! At the very least this means "fleeing" with his eyes (or as one book says, "bouncing" his eyes and looking elsewhere). 1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." and 2 Timothy 2:22 "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." This fleeing is the application of the bad example given in Proverbs 7. A girl or guy should also flee a situation where conversation (jokes, stories, tales of experience, etc) or movies have a hint of sexual immorality.

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. " (Ephesians 5:3-12)
This is our standard, not what others do or allow. The reason we care is because we want to please the Lord, not ourselves.

One last note: is working on a Modesty Survey. I suggest checking it out. Personally, I can't wait for the results to come out.
Ya, I know I usually don't make posts like this.I'm usually not bored stiff.I seriously don't know what to do.No one's online.Everyone's busy.I've exceeded my school capacity for the day.And almost exceeded my writing capacity.*sigh*Seriously, if you're not interested in boredom, leave.All my best writing is already on here, too.Except... *drumroll*

The Mission: The spies of a Top Secret oranization are being sent to collect data from the enemy. The world is in danger of being destroyed, and the only way to stop it is if the spies find the documents, destroy them, and shut down the enemy's electricity. *end static*

It's actually something some of us AP-ers are writing together. Matt, Alex, Syd, Christianna, Amy, Cat, Katie, and I, that is. But I'm taking the plotline and what we write and making it into a story, not just an RP.

More of what I wrote this evening...
You were here once.Now you’re gone.
In that instant
When I turned my back.

Come on, it’s time for
A second chance.
I didn’t really
Mean it.

I never meant to
Let you go.
I needed you to
Stay with me.

They’ve all left me now,
Never to return,
All hope is lost for them,
I never thought I’d be so alone.

I’m always here,
My child.
No matter if
They all leave you!

You never have to
Be afraid.
I’ll always be by your side,
Never leaving you alone.

You’re always here,
My God.
No matter if
They all leave me!

I never have to
Be afraid.
You’ll always be by my side,
Never leaving me alone.

You’re still here, right by my side…
You’re still here, right with me now!

Yay, someone's on AP!
Well, expect me back later. Matt can't stay on forever.

Agent Tristan Lang.

Clicky!à ß Clicky!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Hands That Hold the World

This is a song that we sang at Desert Challenge, and since then it's been one of my favorite praise songs, and I just thought I'd share it with you:

The Hand That Holds The World

No greater joy
Is there than this
To know for what
We're meant to live

To hold Your hand
To touch Your face
To find ourselves
In loves embrace

I want to stand before the King
Join in the song that heaven sings
I want to hold the hand that holds the world

I want to know the mystery
Reach out and touch the majesty
I want to hold the hand tht holds the world

No greater love
Could be bestowed
That You would name us as your own

Your daughters sing
Your sons rejoice
They gather here before Your throne

You are, You are
The author of creation
We are, the chrildren of your heart

You are, You are,
The light of all the heaven
We rise, to worship all You are

Friday, January 19, 2007

History Rising.... or falling?


We're here in Dubai, United Emirates, near the site of the Burj-Dubai - which they hope will be the tallest tower in the world at completion. Sounds a lot like Babel, huh? Mark 13:1-2 Says: "As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him 'Teacher, look! What massive stones! What maginficent buildings!' 'Do you see all these buildings?' replied Jesus. 'Not one stone here will be left upon another, every one will be thrown down.'" Think about the World Trade Center and 9-11. What happened to them? These buildings that people worked in, passed on their way to work, and recognized as a part of the United States of America, gone, in about thirty minutes. For all we know, the Burj Dubai could be next. As far as we know, the intentions of the people behind this don't have the same intentions as at Babel - to reach to heaven and outdo God. What we have been told is that they're just outdoing other countries, However, that's like yelling "Look at us, we're so great!" Of course, we all know that "Pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction."
So what does God have in store for Dubai? We probably won't know for a while, but it's not necessarily something good.
One last quick note- Notice how the disciples were so fascinated with the buildings. Remember, back then it was all man power, no machines. If the architechture and building then and there was so amazing, and just one building, how much bigger, and how much greater, is the God we serve?

Anyway, this is Desert Oasis News. It's 9:48 P.M., and we're here with the traffic report. The traffic on Al Wasl road was stopped up by a car accident yesterday, and...

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is, yes, finally, the introduction to my "new" Nanowrimo.


The sword whistled as it circled above Ciaran’s head, then swooped down on his opponent. It seemed like hours had passed in the half-an-hour they had been fighting. Caderyn, his opponent, also the king of Stargonia, was stronger than Ciaran imagined for an older man. Of course, Caderyn had trained for many years when he was younger, and Ciaran had never had any training other than what he could teach himself from watching others. He had always been the outcast when he was younger, being different from everyone in various ways, from his extraordinary height and golden yellow eyes to his wittiness and quick tongue.

The sound of steel on steel echoed through the Great Hall. Elsewhere, soldiers lay either slain or wounded, mindless of who they served.

Somewhere in the distance, a horn sounded. Help was coming. Ciaran knew the approaching warriors were not fighting for him, but were the wild barbaric clans of the North, who feared nothing. Ciaran hesitated for a split second, silently debating what to do, then whirled on Caderyn with a new strength. The king stumbled backwards, surprised at this, and fell onto his back. Ciaran towered over him, his the hood of his grimy cloak covering his malicious smile.

“So, then, I have finally gotten what I’ve wanted for so long. At last, I can die in peace.” Ciaran unsheathed a small knife at his waist, but it slipped from his fingers, crashing down to the floor. Caderyn rolled over and grasped it in his hand, pulling back his arm to throw. The knife whistled through the air and found its mark, the center of Ciaran’s heart. Small trickles of blood began oozing out, and Ciaran dropped to his knees.

The barbarians entered the castle.

A strong wind swept through Stargonia, blowing out all candles and covering the sun with the clouds.

The approaching warriors stopped in their tracks.

The sun came out again, and the people of Stargonia set about relighting candles and lamps.

In the castle, the king was nowhere to be found. Where he had been standing, stood no other than Ciaran himself.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Decision? Maybe?

I spent about half an hour of Thursday afternoon praying and writing in my journal. An hour early I had found out my guitar teacher also played bass... (btw - everything's a-ok with him now. Still not fully comfortable w/ him, but I'm enjoying my lessons more). So, maybe, I'll buy a bass and he'll teach me that as well. If Candace learns to play violin, I can teach myself from her books and stuff. I've done it with other instruments. Yes, I know I'm cheap, but whatever.
I'd come to that decision, but was still unsure about another activity. Hockey games aren't constant, some weeks we don't play at all. Jarod helped me decide that one. God works in strange ways. We were stacking chairs, and he asked me how fencing was going... that was all it took, and I decided that that was what I wanted to do. So, it's back on for fencing.
Still need to talk to mom and dad about bass...



Monday, January 8, 2007


Pasted below is a story I wrote a while ago, based on the song "The Fields of Athenry."


Kyleigh Fox

It is 1845.
“Máirín. The potatoes. It’s not good news.” My husband Keegan stood in the doorway.
I looked up from the dress I was sewing for Cadhla, our daughter. “What is it?”
“Something’s not right with the soil. I checked with our neighbors as well – theirs are the same.”
“Their what?”
“What’s the matter with them?”
“They’re dust and mold. That’s all.” He opened his fist, showing me what he meant. My eyes went wide.
“How are we going to survive?”
“Only God knows. At the moment, it seems impossible. Hopefully Trevelan will share his corn.”
“I should hope so.” I sighed.

One year later, we were a starving family. Trevelan would not share his corn, great tyrant that he was. When one of our neighbors had requested an audience with Trevelan, he storming back and repeated Trevelan’s words. 'If the Irish once find out there are any circumstances in which they can get free government grants, we shall have a system of mendacity such as the world has never seen.'
We had to make do with what little we had. Cadhla was two, almost three, and extremely small for her age, due to lack of food. I was five months pregnant as well. Keegan and I had no idea how we were going to survive.

“Máirín... I need to do this. Cadhla needs me to. You need it. We all need the food.” Keegan said as he returned from work (what little he could do of it) one afternoon.
“I know we do. But it’s so dangerous. What would happen to us if you got caught and taken away on a prison ship?” I replied worriedly.
“They won’t catch me. They haven’t caught anyone else yet.”
“There’s a first time for everything, Keegan. Please, I’d rather you not go.”
“I have to. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in the morning at the latest.” “And if you’re not?”
“I will be.” I hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go. I closed my eyes tightly, praying hard.
Keegan turned and slung his empty burlap sack over his shoulder. Quietly, he kissed our daughter Cadhla on the forehead and then left the house through the front door. I tried to sleep, but none would come. I was too worried. I tried knitting, I kept dropping stitches. Finally, I gave up and went to the door to watch for Keegan’s return. At dawn, there was still no sign of him. I prepared a meager meal of ground cornmeal cooked over a fire and mixed with water. It was all we had eaten for the past year. While I worked, my mind went back to a day three years ago, the day Cadhla had been born. Keegan and I had taken her on a walk to the fields....
Keegan looked over my shoulder into Cadhla’s tiny face, smiling. Our little daughter was going to be beautiful someday, that was already quite clear. Together, a family, we stood in the field, the sun setting behind us, birds swooping overhead. We were so happy then. No famine, no tyrants.
A tug on my dress brought me back to the present.
“Mam, I’m hungry.”
“We all are, Cadhla. This famine-”
Suddenly Keegan burst into the room.
“Keegan!” His face was flushed, and he was out of breath. A sack filled with corn was over his shoulder.
“They’re after me. Trevelan’s men. Hide the corn.”
“What about yourself?” “I won’t run, Máirín. I broke the law for you. Now I have to pay the penalty. Goodbye.” He hugged me tightly then picked Cadhla up from the ground and cuddled her for a minute, then set her down.
“No, Keegan –" I began, grabbing his hand. He pulled away and left the house. Outside, I could hear shouting. Quickly, I hid the corn and went back to making breakfast, crying the whole time. Cadhla and I ate, and though the day passed quickly, I was never paying attention to what I did. That evening, after putting Cadhla down to bed, I took my shawl and left the house, heading for the prison.
“Keegan!” I whispered at each cell window. At the fifth window, he answered.
“Máirín! What are you doing here – It’s not safe!” “I know it’s not. But I had to see you one more time. The neighbors are saying tomorrow they’re going to take you away – to Australia on a prison ship. Keegan, you can’t go!” I was crying again. Shaking so hard I couldn’t control myself. Keegan reached his hand through the bars and steadied me.
“Máirín. I thought you understood – I did this for you. I knew there could be penalties. We’ll see eachother again someday. And meanwhile, we’ll be together inside.”
“But what about Cadhla? Growing up without her da? And the baby on the way? Keegan, you can’t.”
“I have to. And I’ll be free. Free! From the famine. From the tyranny of Trevelan and the other leaders of our corrupt country. Pray for this famine to end. Pray for me. And we’ll be all together again, yes. Free, too.”
“Free... I love the sound of that word. Yes, we’ll be free together.”
“I hear someone coming – quick, Máirín, hide!”
I ducked behind a bush until Keegan whispered to me to come out.
“I guess this is it then. Cadhla needs me to go back.”
“What a good mother she has. Take good care of her; give her my love for me. Tell her I’ll see her again someday.”
I nodded, tears filling my eyes. “Good bye, Keegan. My love for you will never end. I will wait for your return.”
“I will return if I am able, for now, remember I love you and will think of you and Cadhla every day.”
“Good bye.” Slowly, I backed away from the prison wall and walked through the fields of Athenry to our home, remembering the day when Keegan and I had stood watching the birds fly, Cadhla in my arms.

“Where’s Da?” Cadhla asked when I returned home. She had waken from her fitful sleep and now realised her father had been gone longer than usual.
“Cadhla, your father did a very brave thing for you. He got us some food, but he was caught taking it. Now he needs to go somewhere else for a while. He loves you very much, dear, and someday we’ll be together again.”
“Mam, I’m hungry.”
“I know. We all are. But here, take some of what your father brought us.”
I dished up a small portion of corn from a bowl in a cupboard and handed it to my daughter “This is all we can spare for now. Soon this famine will be over and we’ll be able to have potatoes again. I never thought I’d want to see a potato.”
“Mam, what happened to the potatoes?”
“I don’t know, Cadhla. They went bad.”
“When will they come back?”
“Someday. Why don’t we pray for da and the potatoes?”
“Dear God. Keep da safe. Help us to see him soon, and help the potatoes to come back and not run away again.”
“Thank you, Cadhla. Now let’s get back to sleep.”
“I’m not tired, Mam.”
“Want to do down to the bay and watch Da’s ship leave?”
“Can we mam?”
“Yes,” I replied, picking her up in my arms.

Down at the bay, Cadhla sat on the sandy beach and pulled her knees into her chest and wrapped her arms around them, her blue eyes staring out to sea. I stood, water lapping my bare feet, the wind blowing my wild red hair. A lone tear rolled down my cheek as I stood watching.
“Goodbye, Keegan.” I whispered as the ship undocked and set sail for Botany Bay.
Cadhla and I stayed at the beach until sunrise, staring out to see. Cadhla picked up a few shells as we walked along the beach toward home.
“Mam, these shells are always going to remind me of daddy. And the night on the beach. Mam, when will he be back?”
“I don’t know, Cadhla. Probably never. But maybe someday we can move to go see him.”

The famine ended four years later, in 1870. Cadhla was now seven, and my son, Cian, who had been born shortly after Keegan left, was four. We were still in Ireland, and Keegan still in Australia. Recently we had received a letter from him.
My Dear Máirín and Cadhla,
I expect by now Cadhla is a big sister. How is her young sibling? Was it a girl or a boy?
I miss you all so much, and wish I could be there with you. I’m fine here in Australia, but it would be better if you could be here. I’m hoping to return home as soon as my ten years are up. Of course, we still have six years to go. It’s hard work here, but I want to be home. I hope you are all doing well.
If I know you like I used to, you’ll be wondering what happened to me the night I was caught... As you know, I went to get some corn from Trevelan’s storage house. The way over and in was fine. But on the way out, as I climbed out through the window, I forgot to look over to where a guard was stationed along the street. He had been facing me, and saw me. That began the chase, and you know it from there.
Oh, Máirín... What I wouldn’t give to be back with you. I know, you warned me. I made a simple error that ended up having drastic consequences. But where would we be if I hadn’t?
Ouch, I’m hot. The weather in Australia is so much warmer than in Ireland. Most of the men work shirtless.
Well, I have to be going. It’s early in the morning and we’re about to leave for our assignments. Give Cadhla my love, as well as the little child. I hope to see you again someday on the green shores of Ireland.
Yours forever,

Over the next nine years, Cadhla grew into a beautiful young woman and Cian was turning into a man. We had news from Keegan that he had been released. But that had been three years ago, and there was still no sign of him returning.
“Cadhla, go get some water from the well, will you dear?”
Cadhla set down her sewing and went out to the well. Cian was outside planting potatoes. I was working on some stew. Minutes after she had left, Cadhla ran into the house, smiling and breathless.
“Da’s home!”
“This is no time for games, Cadhla.”
“Mam, I’m too old for games. I’m serious!”
Outside, I saw Cian straighten, stand, and wave and then run towards the road. I stepped outside the house, ready to investigate.
“Keegan!” I shouted, and broke into a run. When I got there, he was standing next to Cian, grinning, a hand on Cian’s shoulder.
“How did you get back?”
“I’ll tell everyone over dinner! It’s so good to be home!
“You got here right on time – Dinner’s almost ready.”
Happily, we walked back to the house, where we sat Keegan down at the table, then I finished the stew. Cadhla quickly whipped up some scones for us. When we finished eating, Keegan pushed back his chair.
“Best meal I’ve had in thirteen years. Och, I’m getting old!”
“So how’d you get home, Da?” Cian asked, still shoveling food into his mouth.
“Well, you know my sentence was only for ten of those years. Those ten years went by very slowly. Your letters helped. They kept me going. All around me many men died. But as long as I had your letters I could keep going. The conditions were terrible. We got little more than what we had in Ireland.
“After my ten years were up, I was released, but with no where to go. This is why many men never return from Botany Bay. Nearby, I found a small farm wanting help. They hired me, and for three years I worked, saving money to return home. And here I am.”
“You’re different, Keegan.” I stated.
“Sure, as if you aren’t. Thirteen years is a long time. Let me guess, Cadhla, you’re now what, seventeen, and Cian is thirteen?”
“Yep.” Cian beamed.
“Máirín, shall we go for a walk? All of us?”
I looked at him, puzzled. Then I smiled. “Yes. Let’s go.”
Together, the four of us, finally reunited headed for the fields. They were as they had been before, many years ago. We watched the sunset with happiness. Cian was lying in the wheat, watching the clouds, Cadhla stood, watching grain wave in the wind. Keegan and I stood side by side. I leaned my head against his shoulder.
“Remember when we met?” I whispered.
He smiled.
Everything was perfect again. The family was together, well fed, and happy. The birds were flying over the fields of Athenry once more.

By the lonely prison wall,
I heard a young girl calling,
Michael, they are taking you away,
For you stole Trevelan’s corn,
So the young might see the morn,
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Low, Lie, the fields of Athenry,
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

By the lonely prison wall,
I heard a young man calling,
Nothing matters, Mary, when you’re free,
Against the famine and the crown, I rebelled, they ran me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

Low, Lie, the fields of Athenry,
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

By the lonely harbor wall, She watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
For she went to hope and pray,
For her love in Botany Bay,
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Low, Lie, the fields of Athenry,
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing,
We had dreams and songs to sing,
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Sol Deo Gloria