Today is the end of Summer of Stories. The thought echos around my head, swirling and sinking and possibly sloshing, weaving through all of the words I have written and read and loved.
It is so late, in the summer and in the night. School starts in two days and babysitting starts tomorrow at 8 AM. But I will stay up until past midnight, until it is tomorrow and it is not Summer of Stories anymore, if I have to.
I just read through August's Voice for the first time, greedily slurping up old favorites and new ones alike, smiling at all of them. The fact that I have read so many words this summer, created by other young people, real people who aren't dead or famous but SHOULD be (famous, not dead), is much more amazing than I've really considered. The fact that I can still go through and find new words that I haven't yet read, new people whose words I haven't yet been touched by, is staggering. And the fact that so many of those people, new and old, have read my words is liberating.
So then I went back through my blog, waded through it to the beginning of the summer, and read backwards. And as I read, my eyes started to go numb a little. Partly from staring at the computer screen for too long, but partly from the beginnings of tears. Tears of joy. Because every single word I read was my own, they emerged from my mind onto the page all in one summer, and I could hardly believe it. As I read I felt so many of the emotions I described: bliss and nostalgia, fascination and exhaustian, beauty and nostalgia, summer and fall. Beginning and end. I was reminded of how long the summer really was, how many wonderful things it was filled with, and my fears of having wasted it started to ease. Because I did so much, and if nothing else, I did this: I wrote. I did not write every day, not even close. But I stuck it out from beginning to end, the whole way through. At the beginning, I had community points in the 40s. Now I have community points in the 400s. And I did so much more than accumulate numbers, we all did. We wrote and we read and we commented and replied and we shared. And maybe, we changed a little bit for the better. I did.
So you, who is reading my sappy and half-asleep thoughts: thank you. You helped make this magical summer, and fragments of your words will probably surface in my thoughts years from now and I'll smile. And I hope that you, too, feel at least a fraction of my words, the ones you are reading right now.