In my mother’s handwriting the words across the top of the page read,
“your first story”
Pulling the small pages from the bottom of the box I began to read…
“Once a pon a time ther were to stofft dogs named Chrisdy + Matthew. One day they desied to take a look out side so they woked outside and they got coutt and they were taken to jail. I went to the palaeese and I found Chrisdy + Matthew and they nervy no nervy went out of the house a gen and leved happy evry after!”
I wrote this literary masterpiece when I was 4 and it clearly reflects the truths of my world at that age:
- Words should be spelled just as they sound. - All good stories begin with “once upon a time” and end with “happily ever after” - If you leave home, you will be arrested.
In the 30 years since penning this epic tale of adventure my world has changed ever so slightly and those truths have shifted…
- For many adults, “once upon a time” has become “one day” – timeless tales that happened long ago have been replaced by wistful longings for a future not yet realized, yet often just as fictional.
- “Happily ever after” only happens in the now. “Ever after” is an accumulation of this moment and the next, while “happily” is a choice - a way of looking at the world - a determination to do and give and be our best in life’s ever-changing landscape.
- Leaving the safety of home doesn’t imprison you; it sets you free. Travel opens our mind and our world. The unfamiliar and the unknown are incredible teachers and expanders of comfort zones. How would Chrisdy + Matthew ever grow if they “nervy no nervy” left home again??
- It still makes absolute sense to spell things phonetically.
As you head towards the weekend, may the story you live today be one you’d be delighted to read 30 years later.