Earlier this week, we visited some family members one last time as NC residents. My grandfather told stories of his boyhood. I’d often wanted to ask him more questions about his life, to begin filling in the gaps between the tales he’s told us over the years; sometimes, for some reason, I have a hard time forming questions. That day I did not have that problem. They rolled off my tongue as soon as he finished answering the one before. How many states have you lived in? How long were you in the military? What was your degree?
Earlier that day, when I was upstairs, my grandmother’s writing desk caught my eye. You know the times seems to jump out at you from the landscape it’s always been a part of, as if seeing something familiar with fresh eyes? That’s what it was like. I see that desk every time I walk upstairs, but that day, the memories of seeing her there many times returned to me, glasses perched on her nose, pen in hand, and I missed her even more. She was often writing letters. I even found a journal there that she had started in 1997. Only twenty years ago, and yet that seems like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday.
April marks twenty years of journaling for myself. And here’s where I come to the announcement. Being given a heightened awareness lately for the stories that surround us has given me the theme I’ll follow in April, when I participate in the A to Z blogging challenge. (I understand there will be a blog theme reveal closer to April-guess I jumped the gun on that one. Oh well;) We are storytellers, you and I; we play our roles and choose our dialogue. We participate in a larger narrative than our own. We read about characters who show us new realities, different from our own, and they shed light on places in our soul that we forget, or weren’t aware of at all. So it is to these characters, fictional and non-fictional, that I dedicate the month of April. I hope you’ll join me.