A couple of days ago I had an art open house. My husband and I hung paintings, along with the stories behind them, all over the walls of our house, and we turned my art studio into a concert room for my brother, who came from Asheville, North Carolina to fill our house with his wonderful music. A dear friend loaned me all these tiny fairy lights that I strung up EVERYWHERE and it truly felt magical to me. To see all these people who I love walking around my home being stirred by imagination—it reminded me of something from long ago.
Moss grew everywhere so my memories are forever in brilliant shades of green.
When I was growing up I played outside all the time in the woods behind our house. A creek meandered through the forest and behind it rose a steep, rocky mountain. Moss grew everywhere so my memories are forever in brilliant shades of green. This was the backdrop of a hundred stories—my world of make-believe that I came back to again and again. One large mossy rock a little ways down the creek was an evil queen's throne. Hours of imaginative play revolved around the queen, the diamond mines, and two sisters—runaways. One of the sisters was me, the other was whichever friend happened to be at my house at the time. My friends entered straight into my stories and added their own strands, making the whole thing that much richer, that much more fun.
I realized the other night, that this is what I love the most—inviting people I love into my stories and watching them enter in and make it richer than I could have made it on my own. This is why I love to create books and paintings. Every book and painting that goes out into the world is a mingling of my stories with other people's stories. And I find myself a child all over again as we walk in wonder together.