It’s a dark and stormy night, and since yours in the only book I’ve ever read that actually starts that way, I thought of you.
You were never my favorite heroine growing up, but over the years I’ve really come to appreciate and love you more. I think you feel the same way about yourself though? Don’t we all? Sometimes loving ourselves takes age and time. Being a teenager is awkward and painful, but if we’re lucky, we get to grow out of that into something… not better, necessarily, because it’s not an awful thing to be a teenager… but more comfortable. Those years are all about trying to find yourself, and it’s nice to eventually start to settle in on a bit of an identity that feels like it fits.
Identity is what I’m trying to talk about here now. A Wrinkle in Time… a fairy tale and science fiction story. They always felt so separate, except in your world. Unicorns and mitochondria and angels and tesseracts. It’s not supposed to all fit together, but eventually, it all does, beautifully. In a way, that’s kind of what growing up is like. When you’re a kid, things are black and white, kept in separate, neat groups with clearly defined labels. Only we grow up, and we realize that things rarely fit into one neat box. Being a teenager is all about awkwardly trying to figure out what that means, and how to sort things in a world that suddenly doesn’t fit into any of your childhood expectations. It feels awkward and uncomfortable, and of course it’s all of that magnified times a thousand when you’re trying to apply these new things not to the world around you, but to yourself. Everyone is too hard on themselves, especially as teenagers.
I like who I am now, mostly, and I know you can relate. It’s complicated. But sometimes, complicated can be it’s own sort of comfortable. After all, lots of wonderful things are complicated. Dark and stormy nights. Hot chocolate with strangers. Unexpected travel. Family. Science. Magic. Belief. Love.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s because dark and stormy nights, especially in the fall, make me wistful and sentimental, but I think I’m going to pick up your book again. I hear they’re going to try and make a movie again- I hope this one turns out well. Some of the past ones, well… maybe it’s like you and me? The story needed to reach a certain age before it could really find the right portrayal? We’ll see. It’ll be an adventure either way, and there’s no better way to start an adventure then in weather like this.