A Passion for Stories
Beatrice Bowles, 1943 – 2021
Storyteller, Writer, and Gardener
My earliest memory is of sunshine streaming into my grandfather’s yellow breakfast room and onto a blue bowl of raspberries before me. In that moment, everything connected, light, warmth, color, sweetness. In that moment, life seemed miraculously beautiful and deeply good. I had no words, only wonder.
Once I could read, fairy tales kept alive that sense of wonder. I devoured my grandmother’s beautiful storybooks of tales from around the world. I marveled at the way the stories brought alive all of nature from the sun and stars, from trees and flowers to storms and spiders, and to all kinds of characters from magical to monstrous to me. Stories of goodness triumphing over evil and of kindness defeating greed gave me courage, hope and faith in justice.
Later, when reading those same stories and more to my own children, I felt l like a gardener planting magic seeds. My daughter and son’s delight in hearing stories inspired me to become a storyteller and to learn to tell stories by heart. Storytelling seemed a crafty way to connect children today to nature’s timeless secrets of happiness and survival and to the joys and challenges of human nature.
Spider Grandmother, the Hopi godmother of storytelling, inspires me to weave webs of tales from different cultures with a shared theme in live performances, and in my audio storybooks and print storybooks, ‘Spider Secrets’ (1995) and ‘Grandmother Spider’s Web of Wonders.’ (April 30, 2020)
May these lively stories stretch your imagination beyond belief, reveal allies you never knew you had, and delight you happily forever after.
Each of my audiobooks bring together traditional tales from different cultures around a common theme.
All feature original music by composer, Sara Buchanan MacLean.
In the Seventies, I discovered a wealth of creation stories from different cultures worldwide. Since every tradtion sees life on Earth as a miraculous gift, instead of letting differences between traditions divide us, creation stories offer a way of deepening our shared reverence for the planet. When I proposed a recording of diverse creation stories to Michael and Justine Toms, the pionering producers of New Dimensions Radio, they agreed and assigned me a mentor, their star interviewee, world mythologist, Joseph Campbell. I almost fainted.
His advice was always,“Look for the deep similarities.”
Our program, ‘Children of Desire: Five Creation Stories from Around the World’ is available from New Dimensions and features storytellers from different traditions and original ‘Kiva Music’. Please enjoy this modern coming-of-age experience.
For my listeners, my three wishes are: