It's the season of change

A (startled) Tinyman, on Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm film

Dear Reader,

This morning, I woke up to Tinyman™ (my cat) perched at my bedroom windowsill with his head just slightly popping; studying his surroundings, he occasionally lets out a small chirp of confusion or excitement when he spots something fascinating. You must know that he is only able to do this whilst situated atop my IKEA shelf, careful not to knock over the record player I acquired with my first ever pay check and the chess board I bought with my best friend before she departed for London—two invaluable items I wouldn't trade for the world.

Tiny would do this for about 10 minutes or so. After deciding that he is satisfied with the morning scene, he pops his head back in and gracefully bounces back onto my bed to say a quick ‘Good morning!’ before sauntering to the living room to lounge by the door. I slowly got up, joked with my mum for a bit, and contemplated what to have for breakfast. Writing this to you got me thinking: when did it all change? I remember the days weren’t always so forgiving, gentle or kind. And when Tiny wasn’t always so friendly, approachable or relaxed.

Tinyman™ was a stray—a hungry, scraggily orange-cream-coloured entity that would zoom through the corridors at odd hours of the night. Seeing as the other strays didn’t get along with him, he was clearly abandoned. With nothing but a badly injured paw, comically tiny ears and whatever trust left he had towards humans, Tiny sought shelter in our home. The rest is history! However, while all this took place, I struggled to surmount my own battles. I was struggling to adjust to being back home after 4 years in Japan, and I remember being just like Tinyman™ when we first met him: upset, afraid and hopeless. In hindsight, he and I were in very similar positions. If my home changed it all for him, what then did it for me?

Ethos Books.

I stepped into the office space at the height of summer; the smell of books and paper forever burned into my nostrils. I may not know how Tinyman™ felt when he first placed his tentative paw through my house gate, but the memory of Jen greeting me and checking if the doorbell worked because I tried prying the door open will forever be seared onto my brain. Hilarious encounters of that sort or tender ones like sitting between the shelves lined with books patiently waiting to be homed to gathering over food to reminisce with laughter and joy—the stories of our love and perseverance etched in this space long after we departed from it—heal even the weariest of souls.

Nevertheless, the season of change is upon us, what with flowering trumpet trees, and this being my last letter to you. It’s been brilliant! I leave you with nothing but gratitude for letting me take up space in your inbox, well wishes for the seasons to come and hope that my words will one day reach you again.

Somewhere, somehow.

With love,
Aisha (& Tiny)

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