Before I could read or write, I fell in love with the rhythm of words and the magic of lines.
My parents read literature to me at bedtime from infancy. I couldn't wait until the end of recess each day, every year in elementary school, when the teacher read aloud for half an hour. On school nights in middle school, I read in bed in my attic room until the cuckoo clock clucked "One". Or, the creak of the bathroom door on the second floor startled me from another world, another time. My own private library of words and images grew in my imagination.
Whether paintbrush, keyboard, or camera in hand,
I am still driven by the same delight I felt when my eyes barely topped the surface of my mother’s oak hope chest. A large paper cluttered with print lay within reach. Ridges of a gold, embossed seal tickled my fingers. Nearby, I spied scissors small enough to fit my fingers. Nothing stopped me from slicing a crooked path from paper's edge to my shiny treasure. Pleased with my prize, I thrust my little hand into my mother's face. She snatched scissors and paper from me. How was I to know that wonderful shape was the official emblem of my birth certificate?
My first kindergarten masterpiece disintegrated long ago —
The possibilities widened in first grade as I learned to read. While I sat alone in the reading circle stumbling over sight-words, other words like brown, black, kitten, and dog pixelated into pictures. I wrote and illustrated my first book that year. It was then that I had my first inkling there was a tale that eclipsed the best fairy tale or adventure imagined.
It is a real-life story told in scripture, illustrated in creation. It comes alive in my imperfect one.
A full life of little stories, bold moves, and two big losses—a father and a daughter, lies between first grade and my present place in this world. I've lived more than half of those years with Coleman, my husband and soulmate, most of them in Orlando, FL. as pastor and wife. Our son, his wife, and our grandson live nearby. Coleman and I hang out with them for birthdays, FSU football games, or for no reason at all.