I struggled to find myself as a writer again.
I couldn't string my words together the way I used to.
Afraid of what might be coming next.
Worried it would happen again.
It's okay to acknowledge that darkness is scary.
To look fear in the face,
and then, look for light.
Because even in darkness, there is still light to be found,
maybe not blazing the way out, but still.
We are surrounded by lights!
Health care workers and restaurant owners,
grocery clerks and custodians,
cleaning and feeding
and risking their lives to serve and heal and care for all of us.
Teachers and school staff setting up homework and food drop-offs,
authors sharing virtual story times,
museums, symphonies, theaters giving their art,
fashion designers sewing masks.
In a way, my book THE STARKEEPER was born out of my post-stroke darkness.
THE STARKEEPER is about a girl who wants to change the dark world around her,
and a lost star who needs the girl to help it shine.
And the way to shine it?
Even in the darkest times, friends,
we still have one light to give.
And that light is whatever brave gifts that come out of each one of us.
Whatever your gifts are,
thank you for giving them,
thank you for lighting up the darkness.