Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Lockdown lifters

I’ve been missing my Pembrokeshire sea. I’m going to be missing it more and more. Each time I read in my newspaper about how long Lockdown is likely to last, the predicted length gets longer and longer. It’s vitally necessary but oh dear! Today, looking for distraction in my file-box of Songs, Poems and Sayings, I came across this lovely short poem by the American poet, Carl Sandburg:

The sea-wash never ends
The sea-wash repeats, repeats
Only the old strong songs
Is that all
The sea-wash repeats, repeats

I’ve been admiring the moon. It was so full and so silver a few days ago, I could hardly believe something of such beauty was up there in the sky and that human beings have actually been there. As I closed the bedroom curtain afterwards, I laughingly quoted to Paul a silly verse which was apparently written by a young girl who worked as a maid. It was passed on to me by an excellent collector of poems who is one of my oldest friends:

Oh moon, oh moon, with thy wonderful face
Who encloses us all in thy gentle embrace,
Thy lovely face is oft in my mind.But when, ah oh when
Shall I see thy behind?

As Lockdown feels harder as the days go by, one big compensation – especially if you’ve got a garden to sit in – has been the sun that’s been beaming down on us so brightly in London and elsewhere. Even if it were already May or June, we’d be thinking how lovely and warm it is. Yet it’s only April. Amazing! I’m reminded of that old question-and-answer English rhyme that, over the years, I’ve taught to countless numbers of children together with the hand actions I created to help it to be remembered (and of course you could make up your own):

What’s in there? Gold and money.
Where’s my share? The mousie’s run away with it.
Where’s the mousie? In her housie.
Where’s the housie? In the woods.
Where’s the woods? Fire burnt it.
Where’s the fire? The water quenched it.
Where’s the water? The brown bull drank it.
Where’s the brown bull? Back o’ Burnie’s Hill.
Where’s Burnie’s Hill? All clad in snow.
Where’s the snow? The sun melted it.
Where’s the sun? High, high in the sky.

From sea to sun, those are my offerings to you this week except to say that Lockdown will doubtless provide us all with stories to tell when it’s over (if ever it is!), a thought which reminds me, as a little postscript, of a rhyme from Naftali and His Horse, Sus, a work for children which was written by the Jewish author, Isaac Bashevis Singer:

When a day passes it is no longer there.
What remains of it? Nothing more than a story.
If stories weren’t told or books weren’t written
Man would live like beasts – only for the day.

One Response to “Storytelling Starters ~ Lockdown lifters”

  1. Clare Winstanley Says:

    Lovely, Mary.
    Gosh, I miss the sea too. Everything about it: the smells, the sounds, the colours…… Number 1 the Gower. Number 2 that special place in SW Crete we go to (usually) every year.

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