Moving // Letters to October (8)

Dear October,

We’re always moving. From one step to the next, one side to the other, one corner of the world to another. As I sat waiting for my flight to land this evening, it struck me how a single journey can contain a multitude of meanings.

The young woman sitting beside me, who spoke with an English twang, took her glasses off and hid her face as the plane descended. The relief of homecoming was hidden by what appeared to be a curtain of dread as the plane landed with a thud.

A row ahead, an elderly lady turned off flight mode on her phone. Closing a game of Candy Crush Saga, she slowly typed out a message in another language. Having left home, maybe reassuring someone of her safe arrival.

Continue reading “Moving // Letters to October (8)”

7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)

Dear October,

This evening I stood on my balcony and looked up at the stars. A train trundled by in the distance, then all was quiet. There, in the darkness mingling with the light of my bedside lamp, I felt torn. I’m both leaving home and going home tomorrow — leaving my family home and going back to England. I’ll be back soon, but even that reassurance is fleeting.

I looked at the apartment buildings facing ours. Lit kitchens and living rooms with families enveloped within. TVs turned on, people sitting around tables. It reminded me of a time when I was in that secure bubble. In a way, I’m lucky enough to still be in that bubble. I come home from time to time and enjoy the comforts of a child on holiday from school. But then I have to leave again, and real life begins.

It’s easy to forget in the long months of summer, but there’s something particularly ambivalent about repeating this pattern in the late months of the year. The murky sky seems to seep the energy from my bones. But the house seems cosier as the air turns chilly.

But because I don’t want every letter to be quite so pensive, here are a few things I really like about autumn.

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On Making Friends // Letters to October (6)

Dear October,

When I was younger, I used to pray for a friend. I would clasp my hands and shut my eyes at night, muttering the request before bed. I’m lucky — as I know now — that I have best friends in my closest family. But I couldn’t help feeling that a piece of the puzzle was missing as I saw around me people who had become family by choice. Friends close enough to share not only moments of lung-shattering laughter, but also the quieter, darker moments. A best friend to fall asleep next to, mid-conversation, talking about everything and nothing.

The closest thing I had ever encountered to that was broken by physical distance, when I moved away from my childhood home at six years old. A few muffled phone calls and many imagined conversations later, those friendships fizzled like Diwali sparklers. They became safely ensconced in the warm, sweet haze of memory. Thoughts of those times were all I had when my new but hollow friendships came and went like the passing seasons. I wanted something more. Something for life.

Continue reading “On Making Friends // Letters to October (6)”