*Contributed by Kayla King*
Maybe it was spending an entire day reading the new Harry Potter book. Or maybe it is the notion that summer is soon to end. Either way, I couldn't help thinking back to the many summers spent on my back patio, devouring book after book.
I remember those summers well: sun and sky and some written world in my hands. I remember the heartbreak of Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts, and I remember rereading the last Potter book; time seemed to stand still because there was so much of it.
Now time moves fast. Weeks are filled with writing my own stories and work and responsibilities and the days spent reading on the back patio are few, the time between them endless. It even makes me miss assigned summer reading, though I always loved searching through some ancient novel with a highlighter, doing my best to unravel the mysteries between the pages.
Summer has always meant reading. Even when I was too young to stay home alone, spending my days at summer recreation programs, I still found time to read. My best friendship, which now spans ten years, was formed on the challenge of finishing Wicked by Gregory Maguire from a picnic table beneath a park pavillion. That was summer recreation where others played, and we read. And the both of us are still readers today.
Growing up, I had the priviledge of time and books and trips to the library. I had words, which proved there was still beauty in our ever crumbling world. I had characters who believed in each other, and themselves, and so, I believed in myself, too. And now I sit with too many words in my own head, and I miss those days.