Feature Friday: Author Nawaal Bhuiyan on Finding Joy in Changing Times

Cloudy Sky

friend, follow her glow now

they sever that strong layer

create a long sing-song rhythm

running and running

eyes training as it’s raining

noting nothing is to be lost

Noor E Nawaal Bhuiyan; https://www.instagram.com/twcmoons/

Truly peaceful moments are hard to come by. I was blessed to be hit with one of those rare days over winter break on a spontaneous trip to the beach with my family. Our original mission? Check out the farmer’s market, let the dogs run around for a bit, and then head back. Of course, as most things in life, our plan didn’t work– but we stumbled upon an adventure instead.

At Surfer’s Beach in Half Moon Bay, the air seemed to glow with an intense energy. For once, the clouds were pulled back from their usual gloom, coiled tightly in white, fluffy bunches instead of an overcast grey. The water was somehow bluer than Hawaii, crowded with surfers eager to catch the next rolling wave. On our way down to the shore, we passed skaters ollying (ollieing?) on the graffitied skate park, toddlers and their parents strolling in hand in hand along the winding path, dogs and their owners racing each other to the water. The energizing smell of coffee from the diner and salt from the sea filled the air. My dogs’ happiness was contagious as they found new playmates to chase sticks with and owners to beg to for treats.

It was in this moment that I felt like Nawaal’s poem above; chasing the clouds and their steady rhythm in a quest for contentment. Nawaal is a brilliantly talented author and a great friend. We connected over a shared love of EXO and writing; to me, she is a mentor and inspiration. Although she lives across the globe from me, it is reassuring to hear our similar dreams, adventures, and passions.

Today I’m highlighting one of her short stories, a gorgeous piece about the magic of changing seasons, Incredible Pigmentation. When I asked her about her inspiration to write this piece, Nawaal said, “I think seasons are beautiful and worth writing about. I’m quite intrigued by time and its natural response, and I tried to emulate those feelings in this piece.”

Incredible Pigmentation

The transition of seasons, blurred and hushed and hurried, was a startling, beautiful thing. The change never quite happened at the same time, always distinct and unknown. You could sit back and observe it all, the way the sky darkened to a perpetual grey, much like the sharp graphite of a pencil, and enormous clouds, thick and opaque, overtook the dreary expanse above you in the oncoming winter. The trees would wilt, shedding the brilliant burnt orange of their leaves, standing tall yet bare for all to see. An encompassing blanket of white would glimmer in the corners of your eyes, teasing, as it fell in soft sheets by your feet.

They say that winter is when everything is dormant, very nearly approaching death, yet you’ve never quite felt so alive. And, as it passes, slow and prolonged, the birth of spring comes to be, gradual and so very sweet. With it comes the blessed blossoming of blushed buds, lightly unfurling to expose the redness of their petals. The trees shudder back to life, their bark growing rough and heavy—tender leaves, dark and verdant, sprout amongst hard branches. If you listen closely, you may even hear the high, distinct whistle of flighty birds, might see them flit across a clear, rosy sky.

Soon enough, the cool spring traces a path for the overwhelming warmth of summer, where the skies are royally azure and entirely cloudless. Children settle across grass vivid green, allowing the sharp rays of the sun to melt into their skin. Thin sweat lingers on the back of your neck, and your gauzy shirt catches frequently on damp skin. By now, the trees are at their heyday, grand and seemingly solid, though you know better. You know, as soon as the harsher yet more supple reality of fall sweeps by, they will bow at the waist, rendered weak once again.

Summer quiets to something far more muted, the comfortable occurrence of autumn. The trees shed their leaves, now tinted in shades of red and orange and yellow, much like over-steeped tea. The crushed leaves decorate sidewalks, piled in enormous quantities on front yards, splendidly mild. Children trade their shorts for cumbersome woolen coats and scratchy knitted hats, noses stained scarlet over cashmere scarfs. The skies have dulled from marvellous coral to subdued silver.

And so comes the winter, the first full circle, though certainly not the last. It’s strange and peculiar and exciting, this hasty shift between environments, and how much they affect you.

Special thanks again to Nawaal for letting me read through her profile– trying to narrow down which works I wanted to highlight was quite the struggle. This is my first Feature Friday; a post in which I aim to highlight artists that have made an impact on me, whether it be through their writing, photography, fashion, and more. Hope you enjoyed this work as much as I did!

Much love, Skylar

Find Nawaal on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/twcmoons/

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