I was born on September 27. In my part of the world, this is the beginning of the long decline into cold and dark. Winter eats away nine months of every twelve, and the sun goes down at 4 p.m. My birthday is the signal that the bad days are coming.

On my kitchen counter there’s a vase with bursting bright yellow flowers. Outside, the gray sky is dripping with lackluster rain. It smells like candles and petrichor. Yesterday I wore nothing but underwear and dripped sweat onto the couch. Today I pull on slippers and wrap myself in piles of blankets.

This moment is a peak. A pause. A wish that we could stay here just a moment longer and the knowledge that nothing can keep winter at bay. Autumn is balanced on the knifepoint between, a liminal moment of choosing and waiting and hoping. And always, ever, preparing.

I am not ready. My plans are not complete. Let me be weightless for another day. Don’t let the next year come crashing in just yet. I’m still waiting for resolution.

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