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10/30/2022 There’s a distant drum somewhere, one that beats a steady rhythm that hasn’t stopped since I sat atop this sea of dry leaves. Their high-pitched crunches under the boots I’ve worn since 19 married the beating far away. A symphony of my own world, as subtle as the air of the cloudy sky. The dying leaves on the trees redeem the brightness of the day. Their sacrifice saves me from sinking into the sullen days of winter. This day feels bright and warm, lined with everything that makes me whole.  I love October. I think I’ve exclaimed this sentence out loud about 22 times this weekend, the same amount of years I’m celebrating today. The mutual love of this month really saves me from feeling conceited on days like this. Of course I don’t just praise October because it’s the one that gave me my life. I love it for the reasons everyone else does: the colors, the costumes, the tying of the ends of the year. But, in that tying comes the twists of rejoicing and the turns of grief for e

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