Storytelling for Your Special Moments

There was once a king who offered a prize to the
artist who could paint the best picture of peace.
Many artists tried. The king looked at all of the
pictures. After much deliberation he was down to
the last two. He had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a
perfect mirror for the peaceful mountains that
towered around it. Overhead, fluffy white clouds
floated in a blue sky. Everyone who saw this
picture said that it was the perfect picture of
peace.

The second picture had mountains too. These
mountains were rugged and bare. Above was an angry
gray sky from which rain fell. Lightening flashed.
Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming
waterfall. This did not appear to be a peaceful
place at all. But, when the king looked closely,
he saw that behind the waterfall was a tiny bush
growing in the rock. Inside the bush, a mother
bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of
the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on
her nest. She was the perfect picture of peace.

The king chose the second picture. “Because,” he
explained, “peace is not only in a place where
there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace is
in the midst of things as they are, when there is
calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of
peace.”

(I heard this story from Suzi Wolf, Storyteller –
thankyou!)

This week we celebrated my niece’s Bat-Mitzvah;
her “coming-of-age” in Jewish culture. We wanted
to create a meaningful ceremony that would be
steeped in tradition but not overbearingly
religious. So we had 7 women give 7 blessings,
each one relating to a value or practice in our
tradition. We held the gathering outside in a
stunning Nature Park; it was a beautiful ceremony.

I was delighted to hear that most of the women
chose to bless Samantha through a story. The
power of storytelling goes so far beyond regular
words. We spoke of humility, generosity and love;
we spoke of beauty, peace and tradition; we spoke
of respect, values and family.

I told this story of peace, in the context of the
Jewish practice of observing the Sabbath. On this
special day some people stay home in reflection
and prayer, others go for a hike or to the beach
but each person in their own way marks this day of
peaceful rest; this day that is different from all
other days. It is the day that we can give
ourselves the gift of rest, a change of scene and
a more balanced and peaceful perspective of our
busy, rushed day to day living. It truly is a
blessing to allow yourself a day of rest, whenever
it is and however you choose to celebrate it.

My niece has been welcomed into the world of
women. It was a moving and joyful event. The
whole world awaits her now; she can choose to be
whomever she wants and to live her life however
she wants. My hope and blessing for her (and for
you!) is to remember to embrace the concept of the
day of rest. To remember to reward ourselves for
a week well lived, to embrace the idea of peace as
a living, breathing entity that has an active part
of the life we choose to live; a life of
gratitude, generosity and celebration.

The combination of beautiful nature, the company
of family and friends and the effort of a few
people to create something meaningful and special
was a blessing in itself. I encourage you to try
it, with a little bit of thought and some
preparation you too can make a ceremony or event
that can create meaning and beautiful memories for
a lifetime.

2 comments on “Storytelling for Your Special Moments

  1. I am a college professor of religious studies and I wanted to take a moment to tell you how important your storyteling work is. Thank you for the contribution you are making to the world. I absolutely love your “peace” story. Cheers!

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