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Seeding Courage and Hope

 “When we sow a seed, we plant a narrative of future possibilities,” writes Sue Stuart-Smith, British psychiatrist, in her bestselling book, The Well-Gardened Mind. And with stories from long-lasting traditions, we as storytellers, teachers, parents, and grandparents, can plant seeds of hope and  courage in young imaginations.

Children today need folk and fairy tales and nature myths more than ever before, for the timeless stories have the power to lift children out of despair. They remind children of the deep goodness of life, even in the cruelest times. The lasting wisdom of traditional tales reveals that nature is not the cause of our troubles, human nature is. Without preaching, the old stories show this. And children respond. So the old tales stay new.

Mysteriously and marvelously, and perhaps less well understood, the old stories connect children to a deeper level of awareness that I call “green love,” the animating spirit of creation within each of us and within everything, a spirit that no religion can ever own, a spirit that underlies and interweaves every culture, and one that connects all living things.

In home gardens, community and school gardens, parks, and wilder places, and in moments of deep quiet, a child can sense and delight in that nameless, boundless love. This is why every child deserves access to nature and to stories that bring all of nature alive.

For a story to garden young imaginations with courage and hope, please enjoy this download of my telling of an old Romanian tale: “Maruska and The Twelve Months.”

“Maruska and The Twelve Months”
Music by Sarah Buchanan MacLean

You can find this story on my audio collection, Spark Catchers.

COMING SOON! Making the right of every child–the right to access nature–into a reality. The most heartening program in education today–now a news media magnet nationally and internationally… GREEN SCHOOLYARDS AMERICA.

AND! Don’t forget SPIDER GRANDMOTHER’S WEB OF WONDERS, my book of world wonder tales, stories to delight every child, every parent, and every grandparent. “Wow! I was enthralled!” — Helen Whitney, PBS filmmaker, New York.





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