When it comes down to it, our lives are simply full of stories. The stories we share with our loved ones, our friends and family and of course the stories we tell ourselves. We all have our own stories, the experiences and moments that shaped us into who we are today. The hurts and losses, the happinesses and laughter.
Just think how many times we weave our stories into conversations with other people. Everyday work issues can become an elaborate drama. Relationships become a mini-series where we wait with anticipation for the next instalment.
Even complete strangers it seems will tell you their story, often (in my case anyway) in a very short period of meeting. It seems that the one life-altering moment cannot be held in - it leaks out either gently or spontaneously sometimes in such heartbreaking detail that upon hearing it you could sit down and sob.
I grew up in a childhood of stories. I lived alone with my mum from the age of seven, after my dad left. My mum worked long and unusual hours and we had little money although I didn't realise it at the time. It was only at school that I realised most people had a car, a home telephone and new clothes. The thing we did have though was stories. Mum made walks in the woods with neighbouring children an adventure when we all became musketeers. I being the youngest child was always allowed to be D'Artagne- my favourite. There was always someone chasing us, a threatened King or the Queen of Hearts, wanting to chop off our heads and we would run screaming through the woods with twigs as make-shift swords. Walks home from my nan's house were filled with word games and quizzes no doubt to take our minds off the fact that we were walking and not driving, but which in fact to me just seemed to be fun and entertaining.
And during times when mum was not able to be around because of work, books filled her absence. Enid Blyton was my favourite childhood author. I loved the thought of being able to find my own Magic Faraway Tree and be spirited away to new places by Moonface and friends. With a book in my hands, I always had company and didn't feel alone.
These childhood stories and experiences have helped form me into who I am today. My mum's love of books, poetry and writing have helped develop my interests in these subjects. I have always loved reading but more recently in the last five years have also come to love writing. I also believe that the imagination can take us to magical places and I wouldn't want to ever lose that pleasure.
Thank you mum for sharing these precious gifts with me as a child. We may not have had very much in material terms, but we were rich with the magic of stories.