This weekend I traveled to my alma mater for a casual reunion with some dear college friends. It was the first time I'd been back to campus for more than a drive through since graduation, and I was astonished at all the memories that tickled their way into consciousness at the prompting of passing a certain building, or walking a particular path. I was, to my surprise, moved.
But the best part was something that prompted an older memory, with hints of future dreams. We were killing some time after dinner and wandered into a comic book store - a new addition since we graduated. I was enjoying the imagination that's on full display, the bright colors and vibrant artistry, when a threesome of small, black and white, xeroxed comics caught my eye. Scribbled in a childish hand was "Cheepy Learns to Read" and its sequels, populated by a small chicken who was little more than a circle, a triangle for a beak, and some scrawled appendages. Inside were a few pages of charming simplicity and, to my surprise, wit. I bought two. The clerk told me they were drawn by a local seven-year-old girl, whose dad is a regular customer.
That probably makes my week. Imagination, small-town relationships, and a little girl's dreams realized, even as those dreams are probably growing as we speak (or read). All the better. Happy Independence Day, all you aspiring authors! Keep writing, dreaming, and writing.