I’m still fighting jet lag from a two week European cruise & tour.
The 60+ travel companions from the TORBSA buying group – a group formed around working partnerships between Canadian suppliers, and which my husband’s building supply company belongs to, had a farewell gathering of about a dozen people two nights ago. The question was posed “what was your favourite part of the trip?” As the ceremonial blinking head band (talking stick) was passed, I answered “the people & the sites”. That was my easy answer as the gin & tonic with pear was going down amazing. But reflecting at home, looking over my hundreds of photos (iPhones make it too easy) I realized it was more than that.
I laughed at stories from my friend Mary & her eccentric family & hippie teen years. In England I was very amused by our expressive English guide who referred to Camilla as gorilla & consistently pointed out the orange vested men in construction zones idly standing around. I was enthralled by stories of royalty, scientists & explorers as I stood by graves of Darwin & Handel in the Westminster Abbey.
In Spain as we wandered the streets of various towns I wondered about the stories of the people who once lived in the abandoned houses. I read with interest the stories adjacent to statues & art.
Stories are the language for sharing & passing along one’s heritage. In Portugal the song of lament, named “Fado”, was shared by the Portuguese troupe on our last night, it was lively, entertaining musical storytelling.
Then there were the making of new stories (shenanigans) from our 2 o’clock hot tub club. Or when I spent ½ hr talking to a crew member asking if he knew someone higher up that could stop the drainage of the hot tubs at 3am – only to discover he was the captain. Dinner conversations with various building suppliers who listened with interest to my adoption story. I enjoyed telling Growing Together’s business story of our not for profit childcare & how we’ve embraced the various forms of social media to build our “brand”. A young sales rep. noted that my whole face lit up as I spoke about writing the blog. Stories, that’s it! That was my favourite part of this trip.
I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me, as story telling is embedded in my early years’ culture of teaching. Singing, flannel boards, books & narratives are daily occurrences with the children at childcare. This vacation has served as a reminder that I need to listen & tell stories. My heart was full as I sat on my bed with my daughter catching up with her stories from the past two weeks. When discussing this topic with my 11 yr. old son, he asked if I included the Three Billy Goats Gruff drama we held in the pool this afternoon? I can’t help myself, stories & story telling are such a beautiful way to relate & communicate, I never realized until this week how prevalent they are in my life!
Story telling is older than the cathedrals we visited with graves of praying saints. Its joys are rediscovered for personal & professional rewards.