In the beginning..................... somehow we managed to tell stories to one another.
Maybe we didn't have the gift of language and we acted out the stories.
Maybe we drew pictures, in the dirt.
Then we found words that others could understand and we continued to tell stories.
Our stories were a source of history, inspiration, warning, education, horror and love and so much more.
I don't remember my parents reading stories to me, when I was little. I suspect that with their schedules they didn't have much time for it. I also suspect that it didn't really occur to them to do it. I do remember my Great Grandfather, visiting us and his telling me stories and singing songs to me. I remember sitting on his lap, enthralled with a train story and joining in when he finished the story with a train song.
Zeus and I read to our kids. We even had family night, when they were little and we gathered around the fireplace and read the Little House on the Prairie books, outloud, to them.
There is something about the sound of a voice, telling a story that will get some people to simply stop in their tracks, stop what they are doing to come closer to the story teller.
Not so many years ago, during one summer, I put a box of children's books, in my van and drove over to a little park, in a rather poorer area of our fair city.
I lugged the box of books over to the only tree, spread out my blanket and sat down, resting my back against the tree. I took a book out of the box and started to read it outloud.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see children stop what they were doing and watch me.
The braver ones came closer.
Finally, the bravest sat on the edge of my blanket, their eyes on me and the cover of the book.
I finished the book and put it on the blanket and pulled out another one and started reading that one outloud. The book on the blanket began to move as a small hands pulled it towards them.
I read the entire box of books, probably 15 or so. By the time I was finished I had a handful of children sprawled on the blanket and a few traditionally built grandma's sitting in their lawn chairs at the edge of the blanket.
I left the books for the grandmother's. They could be the ones to make sure that the books found a good home and were read. They didn't say much to me, just nodded their heads.
I was asked if I was coming back to read some more. I told them that it was now their job to read to each other.
Like dropping a pebble in the quiet pond, I have no idea what or how long the ripples traveled.
I was taking care of Curran, rocking him in my chair while I gave him his bottle.
Zeus, sat down on the couch next to me and said, "Let me read you a Christmas story."
He turned the pages of the James Herriot book until he came to the Christmas Kitten.
He started to read.
Pretty soon, Curran's mother came out of the bedroom, where she had been working on her classroom schedules. She sat down on the couch, next to Zeus.
During a rather touching part of the story, Zeus, got a little choked up reading it.
Caitlin glanced at him and then me, realizing that he really was saddened by the story.
When he finished I could see how much she had enjoyed listening to him read outloud.
We all enjoyed it.
Reading a story, telling a story, it's so different from just talking to one another. Perhaps it's because the interaction is of a different kind.
I just stopped typing for a minute and the image of Forrest sitting on the park bench, with his box of chocolates, telling his story, came to mind.
IF, I made resolutions, IF I did I would resolve to read more stories, outloud.
I think I probably will because I'm lucky I have a toddler, in the house and it's pretty easy to pull her up on my lap and read her a book.
New Year's Eve, I had gone to bed. Zeus laid down next to me and said, "How about I read you a story?" I went to sleep hearing another wonderful Herriot farm story.
What a wonderful way to end one year and begin another, in the telling of stories.
:)Bea Who thanks each and every one of you for stopping by today to hear one of my stories.