Maggie McReynolds, Sidewalk Chalk June 2011

Thank You

I love sidewalk chalk.

I love drawing clumsy flowers with it. I love making clichéd rainbows, footprints leading up my front walk, sketching Buddhist or Wiccan or Pagan symbols with it.

I also like to write with it, and last year, I wrote a lot of different things. Seasonal greetings. Questions that I left a piece of chalk out for people to use to answer. Favorite quotations. One quote, unabashedly one of my own, stayed on my porch’s outside wall for the whole year.

This year, after I moved, I got this card, left anonymously on my former doorstep:

“A few weeks ago, I was in a really tough place emotionally. I had been feeling depressed and restless, and was walking through the neighborhood in an attempt to settle myself when I saw the message you had written on the side of your house: ‘Making peace with what is makes space for what’s next.’

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dictionary page, maggie mcreynolds blog

Use Your Words

Words are funny. Words are powerful. Words are cool—sometimes even when we don’t know what they mean. My son, at age six months or so, would get completely hysterical over words he loved the sound of: itchy, whoosh, kapow! He even came up with a few priceless ones of his own, whose meaning only he knew: widgy-widgy, boof, and, my favorite, va-boom.

I come from a family of professional writers. Words were and are my Legos, my blocks, my roller skates, my backyard jungle gym.

When I was eight years old, I wrote a collection of short stories that my mom “published” (aka copied and stapled together in batches) as a gift for my extended family members. Of course, being only eight, I had no idea how to get my characters out of the strange predicaments into which I had plunged them, so almost every single story ended with “and it was all a dream!”

I thought it was a cop-out until I watched that “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger years later.

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