Chapter Twenty Three

The day was a blur filled with eating, drinking and reconnecting with friends and family. As the sun set, he had told his story dozens of times, but he didn’t mind.

He had caught up with his mother earlier in the day but had been whisked away by the good intention of others. She too had been busy coordinating the food for the festival. It was late when they finally got a chance to talk.

“You’re different Joma. There is an air of surety about you,” she said. The two sat side-by-side overlooking the sea. Around them, villagers had settled into small groups and were talking among themselves.

“You’ve always been able to read me like a book,” he joked before taking a sip of his drink.

“I hope it’s not temporary, but it feels like I have a much better grasp on things now. My perspective and views have changed – I understand that life is cumulative. I don’t need to know all the answers, that’s part of the mystery. And I don’t need to achieve certain things to be worthy,” he reflected.

“Spoken like a true sage,” his mother said with a wink.

“So tell me, what follows Joma’s Journey?”

“Joma’s Journey has just begun! I haven’t decided what I want to pursue. Instead, I’ll contribute as best I can in every way I can, building my skills. Maybe one day I’ll focus on something but for now, I want to learn as much as I can and get lost in the process,” he replied.

“If you catch me taking life too seriously or falling into old habits, tell me. Maybe we can have a secret word like…milkfish, for times when you notice me slipping up,” Joma said light-heartedly.

“That, I can do,” his mother managed, containing her laughter.

“So,” she said, gathering herself. “Tell me about your adventure”.

And so he did.

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