Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ And all the while…

Trees near TrefelynThose little stories that make a particular point can sometimes prove tricky. The last few days, the weather has been lovely in London – cold but sunny enough to bring a smile to our faces and quite a change from incessant grey skies and rain. On one of my walks, remembering the great winds that blew over Christmas, I thought about that famed competition between Sun and Wind.

Sun and Wind fight it out:

Just as children sometimes do, and sometimes even grown-ups too, Sun and Wind were having an argument about which of them is stronger. Sun proclaimed:  ‘It’s definitely me.’ Wind thought differently, ‘No, it’s me.’

Sun and Wind decided to test out their claims.

‘See that young man walking down that street,’ said Sun. ‘I guarantee I can get his jacket off him quicker than you.’

‘It’s a deal,’ said Wind. ‘But I’m going to win.’

Without wasting a moment, Wind began blowing. Before he could even start roaring, the young man walking down the street pulled up the zip on his jacket. Then as Wind began roaring, he put his arms round himself, drawing his jacket even closer.

Uprooted tree‘See,’ said Sun, ‘you haven’t succeeded. Now watch.’

With that, Sun started shining. Then he (or should it be she?) began shining harder and before five minutes were out, the young man had unzipped his coat. Just a few minutes later, he was taking it off. ‘Phew it’s got hot,’ he said to himself.

‘See, I’ve won,’ said Sun with a shout. And so she (or he) had …in that particular story, at least.

But might there not be another story?

Another story is told by my photos this week.

A story of Wind:

On my walks from my Pembrokeshire village of Mathri down to the harbour at Abercastell, I used to pass a long line of pines. Tall and elegant, they used always to seem to talk to me. Sometimes they whispered.

Then in the great winds of the winter of 2013/2014, several of the trees were brutally broken and some were completely felled. From being part of that great long line , they lay, collapsed, on the field to which they’d provided a fine, tall edging.

P1060732Not long later, in Mathri, I heard from my friend Eddie who works on that land that, since the trees in that long line used to hold each other up, discussions were having to be had about what to do now some of them were gone. The trees that remained were probably no longer safe.  

And so it happened, the next time I was in Mathri and set out to walk to Abercastell, I saw the whole long line of trees was gone, cut down.  The third of my photos shows their absence but not how much I miss them.

And all the time:

The power of Wind can do terrible things. But it can do helpful things too. For  isn’t it Wind that draws those heavy grey clouds away from the face of Sun as well as drawing them over it too? 

For good or ill, symbolically as well as in practical fact, the energy of Wind is a huge force in our lives as evidenced, perhaps, in one of my favourite sayings. It’s an old Afrikaaner saying that my South African friend Lynne of dearest memory had inscribed on a card above her desk. It’s a good thought for the start of a new year, I feel.  It says: 

‘And all the while we are being carried by great clouds across the sky.’


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