The first month of the academic year has come to a close. Lie beneath the stars, feel the fall breeze creep through your sweater. I have written out October for you.
Light comes in through the slit in your curtains. It feels warm, like fingertips across your skin. A voice tingles into your senses. It’s familiar. It tells you to stand up, chin up and chest out. This is now.
A deep breath will get you far. Guide it into your sails. Adjust your oars, the clouds have covered the stars, but you don’t need them. Just remember, there is a place to land, a place to dig up your treasure.
Your voice may quiver, your voice may creak, but it will remain a trust-worthy tool. You must remember to use it.
A gust of wind blows through your hair. The air feels crisp, like the brown leaves beneath your feet. Your lungs deserve a breath of fresh air. Close your eyes. You won’t have every day to feel the sun on your face. Unclench your fists.
Now open your eyes. There is a light, a spark. Do you wish to proceed? Do you wish to reach out and touch it? Will you ignore the dark surrounding you? Feel its warmth in your palms. What is your decision? Stand where you stand. You are you.
A door shuts. A key fits just right to lock it. Will it still unlock it?
There is one bright-coloured kite in the clear blue sky. It twirls, flying gracefully, tearing spectators’ hearts apart. Another ooh lifts from the crowd. The kite need not hear it. It already knows. There is no reason to come down just yet, but it’s nice to know that a sea of hands await to catch you.
In the dark, you stumble. A room full of books, furniture, photos. It’s all there. The lights have been turned off. Take your time. Stumble. Feel your way around the room until you recognize it. One day, you will find the light switch. Fear not, the dark can be comfortable too.
Don’t forget to check the back of your tests. There might be some more questions.
The fireplace cracks with heat. The blanket on the couch is still warm, remembering the taste of you. It mourns your loss, crying out as you replace it with a faux-fur coat. Do not let it call you back. There are other blankets to be wrapped in.
Submerge yourself in rose-water. Let it fill your ears, drowning out the noise of the running refrigerator, the knocking radiator, the spoiled cat’s meow. Have you remembered to let your mind rest its tired legs?
Don’t let your hands burn on a hot potato. Pass it on to the next victim.
A book that remains closed cannot be read. A cover must be lifted, no matter how heavy, to reveal a reality. Let the ink across the page settle deeply, black on white, an effort to ignore the noise. Let the words be seen, let the thoughts flow free from one mind to another. There is something to be pulled out of these pages.
You float on rough waters. Let yourself be immersed, do not be afraid to drown. Let uncertainty envelop you. Be kind to it: it may be gentler than you think. It will hold you, carry you through the dark. You must let it.
The smell of apple pie wafts up around you. Feel at home here.
The hand that holds is also the hand that lets go. Come and go as you please. The door remains unlocked. The fireplace is lit, the oven bakes steadily. It awaits you; there is no curfew. It will stand, no matter how long it takes you to get there.
Your orchard flourishes, bountiful apples hang on every tree. The empty baskets lie at your feet, the ladder is propped up against the first tree. If you forget, they will fall and eventually rot. The sun is on your side, remember that.
Fasten your parachute before you let the wind carry you.
One day soon, you will run out of paper to write your notes on. On that day, you must read what you have written. Do it where you feel warm, do it when you shine. There is nothing to fear except your own handwriting.
Your skin—where you have been gripping yourself—has turned pale. Let the blood flow where it must. Let yourself go. You don’t always need to hold yourself together. Let yourself be seen. Let yourself be heard.
When you walk across the sand, do not look back at the footprints you leave behind.
In your final attempt to get your car to start, it does. The familiar grumble of your car coming to life rises around you. You let go of the key, now safely in the ignition. A map has unfolded before you, a tangle of streets wait to deliver you.
The fog on your windows lifts as you drive through the dimly lit streets. You haven’t bothered to turn on your GPS. Leave it. Let yourself drive as you please, where you please, when you please. Do not tie yourself down to the left turn in 500 meters.
Let the music coming from your stereo waft around you. Don’t forget to turn on your headlights.
Do not fret when the wallpaper begins to peel off, there will always be something new. Take your time to pick out the new, take your time to hang it all up. There is no rush. The walls will not run away from you.
Voices travel down the hall. They are familiar, they are kind. There is no reason to hide. Let your voice travel back, they will embrace it with warmth.
Fog covers your windows. It is your choice whether or not you wish to see through them.
In order to touch the bottom of the lake, you must dive in headfirst. Let the warm water embrace you, let the sunlight reflect on the droplets on your skin. Reach the bottom. Return to the surface. Float when it feels right.
Lines you have written across a napkin linger in your mind. They tiptoe around your thoughts, get comfortable amongst your memories. They’re on the tip of your tongue. But they feel more comfortable in your own head.
The mirror in your bathroom may need cleaning.
You’ve trekked far and wide, crossing into unknown territory. On your own, under the sun, the clouds, the moon. You have seen, but more importantly you have been. Collapse at your desk when you get home; it will take a lot of time to draw out the maps.
A crowd, yelling out, push a single person into the throne room. A golden crown awaits. There is a moment of contemplation. The person holds a crown made of hay. Let your fingers explore the cold edges of the gold. This is when the moment ends, and the now begins.
A single spark can start a forest fire. Watch where you land.
Light breaks through the waves, casting a glow across the ocean floor. Down in the depths you’ve laid, but the weight that holds you down will lift. Break the surface, feel the wind on your face. The droplets will remind you of where you’ve been.
You walk through the bustling city, bundled in your scarf, your coat, hands deep in your pockets to keep warm. When you step inside you may be tempted to stay bundled up, but your skin longs to breathe. Do you remember what your own skin looks like?
A voice carries across the room. Let yours travel back.