Once upon a time, there was a small girl with yellow hair and blue eyes and an inquiring mind. The girl––let’s call her Janey––lived in a house with her parents and a brother who poured milk over her head, and threw spiders at her. Janey loved her family, even her brother, but the one she loved most of all was her friend who lived in a Marmite jar. ‘Friend’ was a pebble. The pebble and the yellow-haired girl flew on magic carpets to whimsical lands…
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t submerged deep inside my own mind in a world of fantasy – where the impossible was achievable and where my made-up friends were never perfect but always fun. Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of ‘real’ friends and we often made up other worlds together but there was something special about ‘Pebble’ and the possibilities that my imagination afforded me. Us.
When I became a mum, I delighted in making up worlds for my children, places that together we would go to at bedtime or in the car. The story of Bobelie the fairy became so real to my daughter that she would search for her in the spring flowers in our garden. I would always begin a new story, my daughter would then pick up the thread and let her imagination facilitate the story’s direction and the fairy’s journey.
Why do stories matter?
Stories matter because life is a tough ride. Who doesn’t daydream in the middle of a challenging day at work? Our minds want to lead us to a place that is calmer, or where we can be all of the things that once we had dreamed that we would be. Or to take us to places that perhaps seem unreachable in our everyday lives. Without stories, life is flat – one dimensional. Stories can unravel in our minds or can be absorbed through the written word, on TV, at the theatre. We are sponges from birth with an enormous capacity to soak up all the possibilities that we learn about and to project ourselves into scenarios and worlds at our own behest.
(I no longer have Pebble).
Write on! 🙂