“Letter to Future Self” by Einas Faraj / “Intangible Roots” by Rui Zheng

“Intangible Roots”

Rui Zheng

“Letter to Future Self”

Einas Faraj

Dear Einas, 

As I settle into my chair to compose this heartfelt letter to you, my future self, a feeling of wonder washes over me as I contemplate the relentless march of time. I contemplate how time does not wait for a soul, how the mind does not comprehend the swiftness of these years until it is too late, and all I can do about it now is to sob into my pillows over the heartbreak of missing my innocence. These are the moments that I begin to reminisce about times I had wished to grow up faster, not knowing all I want right now is not only to stop getting older, but to be younger again.

I am now 16 years old, and a junior in high school. As soon as July 31st comes by, I will never be 16 again, exactly how I will never again be 2, in Syria, chasing my sister and her friends. I will never be 7, learning to ride a bike in the parking lot of one of the masjids I grew up in. I will never be 9, with a blue cast on my arm after breaking my hand rolling down my cousin’s backyard in plastic cars, while our mothers were inside making us dinner. My favorite color was blue because my moms favorite color was blue. I will never be 13 getting my nails done for the first time during my last ever year of middle school. I will never get those years back and that is a feeling that confuses me. 

Time truly is a phenomenon that continues to captivate me, the impressive thing about the future is that we never know what is to come. Even with our endless hopes and expectations, anything can occur and alternate the path we are on. I have learned that through the vast array of experiences I have been put through. I would have never anticipated my house setting on fire, my parents splitting at a young age, my mother moving away to a different state and having no consistency in any aspect of my life with all the moving I have done, with all the people I have lived with, with all the schools I have moved to. After living through it, it all seems typical and is my one and only reality. 

Engaging in a deep reflection always seems to engulf me in a whirlwind of emotions. I, for one, believe that everything is a blessing in disguise, and am forever grateful and thankful to the one and only Lord above me. I have been given a chance to grow through harsh times and learn valuable lessons, gaining wisdom. My experiences have collectively molded me into the person I stand before you as today and will continue to frame me into other versions of myself till my time is to come. Each moment seems almost dreamlike, a powerful testament to the ephemeral nature of time itself. 

My English teacher says that at this age, the stress we feel for the future is ordinary, that we are young and are afraid of the new chapters that wait for us. However, the realization that not only has time sped by, but will continue to hurtle forward at an unwavering pace is what resonates most deeply within me. As I craft these words, a heightened awareness washes over me – these next years will zoom by in the blink of an eye. It’s a thought that carries a certain weight, an urge that makes me want to live each and every day with a clear sense of purpose, to truly savor every moment, and to never take for granted the blessings that surround me, because one day, I will wish to be 16 years old, and a junior in highschool again. 

As I delve into contemplating the uncertainties of the future, a multitude of questions wash over me. The questions I ask myself about the pending future are my motive to keep going, and my motive to give up. The future remains veiled in uncertainty, but one truth remains undeniably clear: time is a relentless force that waits for no one, and the responsibility falls squarely upon my shoulders to make the most of every precious moment bestowed upon me. I often spend time wondering who I will become, where I will find myself, if I will pursue my dreams, passionately chase after my deepest desires, or leave an indelible mark upon the world,

I do not want to look back with a pang of regret, yearning for the opportunities I let slip through my fingers, the risks I never dared to take, and the chances to embrace life to its absolute fullest that I let go of. As I ponder the swift passage of time, a quote by the esteemed poet Henry van Dyke surfaces in my mind: “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” These insightful words beautifully capture the very essence of the intricate relationship we share with time.

Amidst this kaleidoscope of human experiences, it is love that emerges as the most powerful anchor, a constant among the ceaseless tide of time. Love possesses the ability to transcend the boundaries of time itself, infusing every fleeting moment with a significance that stretches beyond the limitations of the clock. It imbues our lives with a profound sense of meaning, fortifies our spirits with unwavering hope and optimism, and serves as a constant reminder that even as time marches on relentlessly, the bonds of love endure, steadfast and unwavering. So, Einas, remember to love. 

Love more than people. Love the clear certainty that you are alive. Though death and age are factors in life we cannot sway, having the ability to die means that you have the ability to live, and that is what we must do. As you delve into these words penned by your past counterpart, I hope that they resonate deeply within the core of your being. May you be filled with an abundance of gratitude for the countless moments that have woven the intricate tapestry of your existence, and may your heart brim with excitement for the captivating adventures that lie ahead on our path. Remember to seize every moment with unwavering purpose and a burning passion, and to cherish the love and memories that light the path before you. It is moments of love and connection that truly endure.

With boundless love and anticipation,


“Courageous Echo” By Sana Bargeer / “Braids” By Azhar Alharbi


Azhar Alharbi

“Courageos Echo”

Sana Bargeer

Courageous Echo

In the face of silence,

courage makes its choice to speak.

Reflecting Worth

In the mirror’s truth,

our reflection of worth is our greatest art.


Beneath the chaos, 

the stillness of purpose finds its way.

“Safe House” by Joseph Razzano // Weathered by Evan Fecko

weathered / evan fecko

Safe house

joseph razzano

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, they widened in surprise. The inside of the house was not like the decayed exterior, reflecting nothing the ugly words of the town bore onto her. Because the smell was unique. The first hit was one of dust and mold and rotting wood, but had undertones of beautiful, french cooking. Because it was warm and dimly lit and a fire blazed in the fireplace to fill the room with dancing shadows. Because the stairs were grand and had carved designs that couldn’t go unnoticed. Because the carpets were foreign and had woven colors that the people in this small town couldn’t name. Because it seemed like a different world; I have never seen something so beautifully ancient in my life.

I feel safe.

“Gaia” by Faiz Shaikh / “Natural History” by Ansley Teal

natural history / ansley teal


Faiz Shaikh

When a man brags about his love– claiming:

“She is more lovely than a summer’s day” I state

with greater pride: “Not so–” boasting: “Earth’s

beauty be greater, though it won’t stay.” 


“Why–” says he “the sun shines the birds still fly.”

“No–” (quod I) “mankind be like a plague– a

Disease– polluting Earth’s sea, land and sky;

When was the last time you heard the blue jay?” 


“But all’s not lost sir if you go outside– 

Plant trees, go green, help to stop pollution–”

Say I with hope for Earth where we reside

“Don’t neglect the Eco Revolution.” 


“Earth can be saved if we do not blunder;

Remember that Nature is our Mother.”

Senior Year by Hailey Cook / What Do You Mean, Grow Up? by Riley Borst (Senior Edition)

What Do You Mean, Grow Up? / Riley Borst

Senior Year

Hailey Cook

Senior year. Those two words can bring back so many happy memories and fill your mind with happiness. I probably won’t be able to have those thoughts later down the road. This year is supposed to be my last of everything for highschool. My last first day of school, last football game, last homecoming weekend, last spirit week, last prom, and then graduation. I won’t be able to experience my last of everything and it leaves me feeling empty inside. I know that in this time of life there are more serious things going on, there’s a global pandemic, people are dying and we need to take these precautions to be safe. Yet, am I allowed to be angry and upset? Am I allowed to be selfish for just a few moments? I started my last first day of school sitting at my desk staring at my computer screen. This is not how I imagined it to be. I won’t be able to enjoy that feeling of sitting in the stands at the football game having the time of my life with my friends making long-lasting memories. The feeling of getting all dressed up in our dresses and tuxes and going to prom with our best friends, will I ever get to experience that.