I take a deep breath, eyes closed, yielding to the grin etching onto my face. The air is warm and breeze light as my day draws to an end:

“I’m writing to you from a beautiful and intricately detailed garden bench on grassy jut of land on the hill overlooking the city. It’s quiet up here, not in that eery way you would expect, no, much more calm. It’s like I’m surrounded by people, but were all in a state of silent appreciation of the peacefulness this altitude brings, I don’t feel alone up here.

I’m in a shaded spot, surrounded by wild cherry trees with clusters of white blooms and shrubs, lots of shrubs. The sky is lit with its flame-like hues and the sun sits atop the horizon, rays of light shooting from this magnificent glowing sphere. I wish you were here, to see the way the yellow bleeds into the orange, and how the sun is radiating its own waves over the waves in the sea. Did I mention there was a sea? It’s just beyond the silhouette of the city and it’s tremendous! The waves are rippling in such a hypnotizing manner. The waters are mirroring the palette of colors in the sky, it’s almost as if the sky and sea are one.

I don’t know how long I’ve been here, hours possibly. I came up here with my journal, a glue stick, a pen and pencil, a flask of water, and my favorite sweets, blue raspberry bonbons. I have my phone and earphones, because you know I never leave anywhere without them, but they’ve been tucked away in my bag all day. Today is one of those days, you know? One of those days where you get lost in your thoughts, where the microscopic things like the sounds of cars in the city and rippling waves become magnified, where you spend hours gluing nature into your journal and time-checking isn’t imperative. I cried once. If you were here, you’d probably giggle as you hugged me in that comforting way only you can. I guess I just got that overwhelming, indescribable, unexplainable feeling of smallness in such a vast and infinite universe. Don’t worry, I’m not dispirited. Rather, when I gather my things, begin down this hill, and rejoin reality, I’ll be leaving feeling focused, centered.

Oh, I’ve also got a blanket, for which I’m grateful for because twilight is setting and the weather is getting cooler.”

By Victory N.E., 18, Ireland/Glasgow