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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The words that compose my vocabulary: hospitable

A sunset that felt like the hospitable ambiance I am attempting to bring to my metaphorical forest.

Unfamiliarity is woven within her racket strings and hair-sprayed braids. 

Suddenly, she is no longer timid, not the youngest, and not seeking social instruction.

She entered each season with lofty expectations, though she only realized she was craning her neck to see them once it was too late. Their flourishing extensions of sage and emerald seemed so reachable before she journeyed into the brush and noticed that their trunks weren’t the scalable size they initially appeared. 

She searched their colossal bases for footholds to aid her quest to reach their leafy canopies overhead, but all she could find were crumbling holes, disintegrating and caving in as soon as she forced her foot into the spaces. 

She watched from the floor as others discovered concealed ladders and branches that they swiftly ascended. Some even began in the welcoming limbs of the trees, not needing to look for a path to the forest’s acme. 

Occasionally she could scramble up a few meager ridges and get to experience an encounter of what it felt like to reach the most towering heights. But before long, the wind would knock her off her course upwards and she would find herself right back where she began. 

On her expedition, she banded together with others who harbored similar ambitions, and, gradually, they accepted that they were unlikely to achieve their original hopes. 

Eventually, they meandered out of the evergreen forest, and she now sees that, from the outside, the trees tower taller than they had seemed to. 

A serene field of uniform, short grasses now lies in front of her, inviting her to idly spend her time there.

It would be easiest for her to sit down in the barren meadow and watch the seasons unfold with passivity. She could stay here and make a homely plot in the desolate vegetation, as so many before her have done. Others have enjoyed their detachment, so why shouldn’t the pattern perpetuate?

The cut-down pasture invites her to join a legacy of remoteness.

The cut-down pasture invites her to join a legacy of remoteness. Its ease proves convenient, for she is already standing with the trees out of sight behind her. 

She remembers, however, what it was like to feel intimidated by the unreachable heights that their expectations revealed themselves to be at. 

So, she takes one last, long gaze at the empty abyss in front of her where she could easily establish her residency. Carefully, she pushes her way back through the brush and returns to the forest’s heart. 

She notices upon her second entrance that the trees have remained the same, but their canopies feel closer and more attainable. 

As she wanders around the periphery of the woodland, its borders can now be more closely kindred with fences and less with distant bounds, irreverent and out of sight. As she roams the natural debris-covered dirt, she passes by reflections of who she used to be. She recognizes the timid expressions of her ghosts only because they wear the same expressions that once unknowingly gave away her naivety. 

Instead of focusing on the footpath in front of her, disregarding the innocently jittery air radiating from her passers-by, she looks a mirroring of her past in the eye. She offers an invitation, disguised as a cordial smile.

Motioning for the reflection to follow her, she forges a path to a nearby oak. Now able to see the footholds that would help her to reach the top, she points them out to her parallel, guiding her journey upwards. 

As the echo scales to the top, she follows closely behind. She is there to catch her if she falls, for she can now see the path clearly.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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