The cookie jar was shaped like a big Victorian house. It had a turret, winding staircases, and far more balconies than was probably wise.
The house-shaped cookie jar lived in the little girl's kitchen. When her grandfather came to visit in the summers, she would tell him stories about how the house was filled with secret passageways that led to secret rooms where there were secret tea parties. How the windows always shone brightly even in the middle of the night. How you needed to know the secret password in order to be let inside.
After a while, as often happens, the little girl started to grow up. She still told stories now and then, but mostly she scribbled them in notebooks that she hid in boxes that never saw the light of day. She began to wonder if there wasn't something a little strange about loving stories so much.
A few years ago, the little girl (who isn't so little anymore) moved to a magical place where, much to her surprise, she found other people who loved stories as much as she did. They also had boxes of notebooks (or sketchbooks, or photographs, or magical business plans) hidden in their closets. They also cried at movies and read books late into the night.
The little girl realized then that there were so many stories that were hidden, not being shared with the world. Because people were afraid. Because they'd been told their stories didn't matter.
But stories do matter.
I recently sat down with that little girl, whose name is Katy, as part of the Inspired Connections Summit, a free virtual event all about the power of stories and how we can use them to find other magical creatures like ourselves.