Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Letters from the past

Question: What’s a story? The answer, I’m sure, will be familiar to you. Answer: It’s a letter from the past that we send on to the future.

This saying popped back into my head this week from the higgledy-piggledy storage box I’m obliged to call my mind. A family member was wanting to talk through our family tree. So I’d plunged into some actual storage boxes up in the loft where the contents are an absorbing horde of photos, postcards, notes and letters.

P1070219Best thing was coming across letters I myself had sent to my parents at different times.  They reminded me of some incidents I’d completely forgotten. One gave an account of a night with Fanta, a cat with a long fluffy tail who always looked like he was wearing a pair of those Victorian frilled pantaloons. I described him in the letter as ‘our new foster-cat’ and went on to say how he’d insisted on spending the night on our bed and how, with all the blanket-scrabbling he did, he’d greatly disturbed our much-loved Pepsi, a long-term resident who was trying to get his usual good night’s sleep. Fanta, I wrote, was ‘a bit of a nuisance’. Funny that. He became as much-loved a cat as all the others who’ve ever lived with us.

Loss is a hard thing to come to terms with. Thinking about what’s gone revivifies the past so vividly.  My brother-in-law’s funeral is next Tuesday and we’ve received so many wonderful recollections of him, mostly by phone and email rather than by letter but valued every bit as much.

P.S. My photo this week is of some of those much-loved and rather rare Pembrokeshire pink primroses. I’ve seen quite a lot this Spring. Long may they keep on going. 


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