Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
I grew up in North Carolina, the most beautiful state in the southern United Sates.
No disrespect intended to my southern brothers and sisters, but the Tar Heel state is simply breath taking. From the Currituck Lighthouse that stands tall over the Atlantic Ocean to the loblolly pines that stand tall on Mount Mitchell, North Carolina is a place I also call home.
Enjoying the scenic eye candy was just one benefit of living there. Another advantage was hearing the culture come alive.
There are certain expressions that are uniquely, and eloquently, southern. And North Carolinians do their best to preserve them.
Expressions like: “Come here and let me hug you neck.” to ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” to “He’s as happy as if he had good sense.” speak to the wonderful wisdom and warmth most North Carolinians possess.
As a young boy, the one expression that made me smile most was, “What makes you wanna holler?”
Translated: What makes you happy? What fills you with passion? What person, cause or thing makes you shout with joy?
When I was 8 years old and someone asked me, “What makes you wanna holler?” I would answer with things like going fishing; eating my grandmother’s fried chicken, or chasing fireflies deep into the night.
I hold these things close to my heart. They represent a time when life was a little less complicated.
Today, life has given me more responsibilities, but it is still giving me plenty of things that make me wanna holler. Things like:
- Watching my children greet life with confidence, respect and fun.
- A Kansas City Royals’ come-from-behind win.
- Knowing I make Mary Beth happy.
- Writing the words that inspire.
- Enjoying a biscuits and gravy breakfast.
- Forgiving myself when I make a mistake.
- A good sweat after a long run.
- Growing a little more confident every day.
- Turning up TobyMac’s Burn for You
- Opening my eyes to welcome a new day.
- Witnessing kindness come to life.
- Finding the courage to take a chance.
- Realizing when I need to make a change.
- God’s amazing grace.
Like the Currituck Lighthouse that stands watch over the ocean, these are the things that guide me and tell me I’m navigating in safer waters on the days when the complexity of life gets the better of me.
The days of savoring my grandmother’s fried chicken may be over, but there are still plenty of days left to enjoy what I have – and there are still plenty of days left that make me wanna holler.