• Taylor Stewart

Dear Reader,

The transition between the seasons has always fascinated me. In Alabama, the wait for fall is agonizing. The heat is blazing, the way it cuts through you burns quicker than any knife or flame. And then all at once, it fades. The coolness and the grey clouds appear out of nowhere. James Spann calls it a cold front, but I think its Mother Nature’s way of rewarding us for withstanding the heat as long as we could.

Now as we approach winter, the holiday season flows through our minds. It’s the anticipation of a gift you have wrapped in your closet, or the scent of a freshly baked pecan pie wafting in from your kitchen. It means plenty of hugs around your neck, the promise of many-many movie marathons in your pajamas, and the overwhelming reassurance that you will be surrounded by loved ones. Because regardless of religion, tradition, or weather, there’s just something about this time of year that brings everyone together.

I’d like to think that Camellias has a way of bringing people together too. In this issue, we cover a wide array of topics, from religion to social justice, even a woman’s decision to choose. We are also excited to debut features about Laura Newman the creative mind behind Queen’s Park, poets Ashley Jones and Tina Braziel, and more! Our wish is for each reader to look at these stories with an open heart, and learn from other’s experiences.

I am especially proud of this issue because it was less than a year ago that this editorial staff first gathered together in order to make this dream a reality. We all first met inside the UAB Student Media office. Some of us worked for Aura Literary Arts Review, some worked for the Kaleidoscope, UAB’s student news outlet. There’s not enough gratitude in all of our hearts for us to be able to convey how essential that experience was for us to be able to create this magazine. We continue to encourage student journalists, artists, and writers because what they produce is quality work. It is our fierce belief that universities should continue to invest in their student media departments, as you never know what it might inspire.

If Camellias leaves you with anything, let it be this: Abide by Love.

Until quite recently, I did not realize that this phrase is at the core of everything we do. If you ask any of our editors, we don’t have a favorite story from this issue. Each one was made with excitement and a deep love. We hope that as you read these stories that you will be able to feel that love dripping from the pages.

If I were to ask anything of you, dear reader, it would be to continue to be kind to one another. Do not let your heart be afraid of something new or unfamiliar, let it be open to all the possibilities this evolving world has to offer. Above all else, Abide by Love, love has the ability to Inspire, Enrich, Empower, and even Charm the most unlikely people.

Yours truly,

Taylor Stewart


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