The Power of Story

Our week in Acadia brought some challenges for Lou. She meets physical challenges with a great deal of resistance and on our first day had to turn back after getting part way up a trail (which turned out to be a very good thing).

When we decided to bike on the carriage roads, we really wanted her to succeed. We chose what we thought would be a fairly flat 6-mile trail around the lake in the photo above, but it turned out to have a long, steep section.

As we reached the steep part, Lou and I began to walk our bikes. Tears were starting. Frustration was setting in. And then I began the tale of The Forgotten Garden based on a book I had been reading all week.

The story begins with a little girl who is left on a ship in England, told to hide, and is found several weeks later sitting alone on a dock in Australia. It's an enchanted, layered book tracing the lives of a mother, daughter and grand-daughter.

As I re-told the story tears dried up, steps picked up, and our carriage road became a foggy cliff path by the sea in England. Suddenly we were at the top of the mountain with the story unfinished and with a girl proud and eager to keep biking.

The tale of the forgotten garden continued throughout the week as we hiked. Each time we set foot on a path, Lou eagerly looked to me to begin where we had left off and was always surprised when she had made it to the top easily. She ended the week so very proud of herself.

Our children love it when we tell stories. They love stories about when they were babies, stories about our childhoods, and stories such as the one I told all week in Acadia. What they love is that they are stories from the heart. The stories connect them tightly to us and carry them away from feeling lonely in bed or from the challenge of a climb.

It's easy to think that there are no stories inside to tell. But, they are there and waiting for you to spin them out to a little soul who needs them. Don't worry, the story will be just what the little one needs.

Mrs. Darling  – (August 31, 2009 at 11:54 AM)  

Beautiful post. We are story telling people too!

Linda  – (August 31, 2009 at 1:42 PM)  

What an inspiring and beautiful blog post, thank you :)

Anonymous –   – (September 1, 2009 at 6:59 AM)  

I completely teared up at this post. I know I have some love work to do with my girls - thank you for sharing.

Angela  – (September 1, 2009 at 8:03 AM)  

This is lovely! I find that Honey seems to came to me more and more for stories of my childhood, teen years or our history once adolescence hit. I do believe children begin identifying and organizing ideas through this time. How lucky our girls are to have Mothers who understand the value of a story and take the time to tell them!

Sarah  – (September 1, 2009 at 8:37 AM)  

Angela--I like your thoughts about this. If storytelling is a way to gently teach young children about the world, it can remain true for adolescents too.

Crescent Moon  – (September 1, 2009 at 9:27 AM)  

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this story!

renee ~ heirloom seasons  – (September 5, 2009 at 10:00 PM)  

That was a wonderful story. What a great way to help your daughter meet her challenges.

Suzanne  – (September 7, 2009 at 9:16 AM)  

I think I know just which carriage road you were on---scared me too a few years ago! What a lovely story, will put that on my booklist:-)

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