Until the other day, I had no idea storytellers had national conventions. A friend of mine, a librarian, attended one and described to me what sounded similar to a writer’s conference. Workshops, speakers, opportunities to practice and improve their craft. The more outgoing among them did what the more outgoing among writers do, too. Stayed up until 4 a.m. talking to those of like mind.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? A community of people with a passion getting together to learn, improve, share and deepen their enjoyment of what brought them together to begin with.
I wished I could attend such a thing, or at least read survey results about the various ways they came to love books and storytelling.
Like many of us who love books, the art of storytelling became a reality to me when I was very young. My mother would read books to my sister and I, but some of my favorite stories were the ones she made up. She would sit between the two of us and weave a story between her imagination and ours. We’d sit there, enthralled. Stories of a little girl who was looking forward to Christmas, but met someone whose family didn’t have enough money to welcome the holiday. How could she help them? Or about two little girls who planted peach trees in their yard and had to wait, wait, wait until it grew. Or a fish whose mommy fish told him never to eat a worm attached to a string. All stories that taught us values: generosity, patience, obedience to rules that protected us.
It think that’s why stories having deeper meaning are among my favorites today!
I’m also reminded of the Bible . . . of how Jesus told stories for the same reason my mother did, to teach in a way that would be easy for us to understand and remember. The Bible is full of examples about real people, too, so we can turn to it for guidance in our lives today.
I’m not sure there’s anything more powerful than storytelling. I’m feeling especially blessed that I get to spend most of my days doing this very thing.