May 31, 2006

Ulysses clutched his coat tight around his wiry frame with one hand, while his other tried to open the door before him without losing his grip on his briefcase. A gust of wind hit, and he felt a moment of panic – then the door opened with a twist, and he stumbled into the house.

The warmth immediately drowned out the howling winds outside, and he calmly closed the door behind him with one foot. He leaned the briefcase against the wall as he took off his shoes and coat and scarf and fancy little hat and gloves. Shorn of his protections against the environment, he took in a long deep breath of the household air, savoring the crispy scent of cocoa.

“It is good to be home,” he said with a smile, hearing the sound of children laughing drifting down the stairs.

He had been gone for less than an hour, and his absence had been relatively painless and carefree – but Ulysses believed that any homecoming worth the name was worth appreciating, whether the absence was an hour or a year.

And who are we to claim to know better than a man as content as he?