The Healing Power of Stories

This chalkboard drawing greeted the students on the first day of school yesterday.

Every child drove past the wreck that was once the bridge to school. Every child knew that the playground was covered in mud. Many children knew more about the hardships of a natural disaster than they should at such a young age.

This year's opening assembly featured a story. This story, told to all the children, featured a conversation between the earth and the sun about the flood. Mother Earth was so upset about all the problems, but Father Sun was heartened by all the goodness he had observed. The story went on to feature little tales that all the adults had been reading in the paper for days such as this story about the horseback rider who forded a river to bring medicine to a woman.

You could have heard a pin drop in the assembly. 100 or so students listened intently and nodded when they heard a familiar tale of benevolence. You could almost see the tension in those children's shoulders just drop. It really was the perfect way to start school--acknowledge something bad had happened, but help the children see that good was coming out of it.

I've written before about the power of story. While my girls are beyond the need for me to spin a healing tale, I think I will quietly place before them more stories from the flood--stories of courage, caring, and commitment to community. Stories can be healing at any age.

sarah elwell  – (September 7, 2011 at 4:51 PM)  

How lovely. I agree that healing tales are important at any age. I still tell them to myself when I need them.

Suse  – (September 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM)  

Oh my friend, what a time you've had.

Quiltin' Mama  – (September 12, 2011 at 11:47 PM)  

I think all the positive healing stories told yesterday in honor/ remembrance were really wonderful and powerful for all the children that saw/ heard them.

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