s"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark."
-Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
I read The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo many years ago. I don't remember the full story but I remember I loved it. When I went to my classroom on Friday to gather whatever I would need until... whenever this is all done, I saw the book on my shelf. Knowing the book I was reading to my students and the book I was reading to my own children were both coming to an end, I knew I needed a new read aloud. So an old book became a new friend again.
There have been so many golden lines I've loved so far, so many memorable characters. As dinner was cooling, I read my children the line above. Gregory, the jailor in the dungeon where the little mouse Despereaux has been banished, will save him if he can tell him a story. Because, "stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark."
The world has gotten darker each day this month. March is not usually like this. March is usually full, busy, the bridge from winter to spring.Parades and parties and plans. Not this March. I've never in my life lived through a March like this and I hope to never experience a month like this again. The world does seem smaller, darker...and yet.....the stories are the light. The stories we share here remind us of better times. We can share our humanity- our hopes, fears, and struggles. The stories connect us at a time we feel so apart.
"Social distancing" does not mean the stories end.
The stories never end.
The stories are light.
And so are you.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski