Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power. – Sigmund Freud
The creation of words put a magical spell on me as far back as I could remember. Before I began kindergarten my mother sat me down in front of an old typewriter and taught me how to write my name. She wanted me to have that knowledge before I began formal schooling, because she did not want others to see me as dim, but instead wanted the teachers and other kids to appreciate me for who I was and not for what I am not. I loved the feeling of the white page being indented with indelible words I had created. She and my grandfather were my first teachers.
In grade school my favorite place was the tiny library. My neighborhood school was fairly small, but it was a universe to me. Each week we got to go to the library, and I was thrilled. I wanted to take an armload, but they limited us to one book a week. The choice of which book was a critical decision to me. We had limited time, and so the decision had to be made quickly. Sometimes the cover art would entice me, but most often it was the Title – the words the author used to sum up the story in a space no bigger than it took to write my name. My imagination would pounce on the promise of those handful of words. One book I remember most had the glorious title: The Infinite Worlds of Maybe.
Each of those words were like supernovae. I saw the book on the highest shelf, as it was intended for older kids, but I knew where the librarian hid her step stool. When she was dealing with my classmates, I scooted up the stool and snatched the book from its high perch. The librarian gave me a sly look, knowing I must have scrambled up the shelf to claim my prize. But she was wise and could see the gleam in my curious eyes. I was afraid she was going to deny me the treasure, as her stamp paused above the checkout card. Instead she leaned a bit closer and whispered, “It is wonderful.” and winked as she stamped the book. I checked out that book several times. And the possibilities of the words infinite – worlds – maybe -wonderful – are as much a part of me as my own name.
The other day I found this stone on the beach. I was thinking of the word “shelter” as in “shelter in place.” I looked down and saw this rock with the letters X O ingrained within it. I saw it as a magical talisman, for that is how I end every message to my children. These days, I add more X – hugs, and more O -kisses to the end of each message – hoping they might add a mote of protection against the dark nights. Picking it up, I thought of the times when I would read to my kids and their love for words and the worlds of imagination. I tried to build a sanctuary of sorts in our small home, which felt infinite in the worlds it contained. I gave them powerful first names when they were born, and their middle names carry memories of my marvelous mother and grandfather. Our home was full of books and those stories helped my beloved children become the wonders they are today. Each time they write to me and sign their dear names, I am touched once again by the magic of words. XOXOXOX
If you would like to read a positive story, I am offering my novel free on Amazon tomorrow March 28. Positive Light.