When I was little, I was obsessed with those word games in the Highlights magazine. Match the words up to their definitions, find the hidden words in the puzzle or the picture.
I remember being glued to the TV, PBS in particular, watching Levar Burton walk me through book after book on his Reading Rainbow. Knowing that I could fly anywhere if I took a look because it’s in a book.
All of those pizza hut book-it awards that I kept, on bright yellow paper. One personal pan sized pizza for reading a bazillion books. It was always worth it.
Hearing my future husband put words together. Like when he described our cat as a mental giant. Or the bits and bobs left behind as we moved in together. Or the time he read to me when I couldn’t sleep because I was too nauseous.
When I got sick and found that writing was a balm, a piece of satin that wrapped around me. so comforting and a source of meaning. I found my pain and in that I found my voice.
Hearing that my Dad is so good with words. A poet. A lyricist. His toast at our wedding. Playing with words, keeping us on the edge of our seats with stories.
And now, I cannot get enough words. Words from those people who are different than me. Expanding my universe at a rapid rate. Uncovering whole new universes I was missing. Giving that much more texture to the human experience, to the parts that are unique and the parts that are shared. Believing those words of lives and living that have been alongside me all along.
Words feed my soul.