Nampa, Idaho was a dream. Pulling into a tiny parking lot and falling into the arms of Kathy Wilkins, whose hugs felt like homecoming. Our resting place for the night was the Brave Girls Clubhouse and Kathy treated us like family from the moment we arrived. She brought us coffee and breakfast the next morning, printed extra posters for the show at Nampa Public Library since ours were beginning to look ratty, and sent us off on our merry way. She came by the library to check on us and stayed to make a tiny book (which she then snuck into our collection when we weren't looking - 10 Simple Ways to Have More Peace is the perfect addition, especially when the world feels so bruised and baffling). Before we hit the road, she sent us off with 3 huge stacks of gorgeous paper to replenish our supply before our forthcoming events. I told you, Nampa was dreamy.
A whole class of 8th graders submitted tiny books to our show, each one prompted by an Edgar Allen Poe quote from their unit in English class to illustrate the dragon fold. I love this idea for bringing literature to life, of grounding it in a new and tangible way. It seems apropos to end here:
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. ~Edgar Allen Poe
The country stretches wide and close all at once. The foreign becoming familiar. Mountains like bookends. Rivers like a bookmark. The highway like a story we are writing mile by mile. I am a little at a loss for words. But I am hardly at a loss for gratitude.