Stories bring comfort when the people around us can't. They take hold and warm us up from the inside. They slip under our skin, creep into our hearts, follow us like shadows. By mirroring our emotions, they help to build empathy and resilience. They help us to navigate difficulty and restore connection. They throw a new pair of glasses on our faces so we get to view the world through a wider lens. They show us our limits and our potential. They inspire and satisfy us. They curl in our guts and stick in our eyes and sometimes frustrate us so much we want to throw them at the wall. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They allow us to peek into other people's lives, sneak into their day. But most of all they are Universe's way of whispering... "You're alive! And you're safe! And you're loved!"