June knows that story telling keeps family memories and even whole cultures alive.
Today she shares a personal story of long ago loss. It's told with love and joy that comes from truly special times with a loved one.
June begins her story ...
And of course the key figure is always my Dad!
Here we would traverse pathways alongside golden wheat fields which sported red poppies in late summer.
Clambering over the rickety wooden stile, we would pause to look at the expansive view of rolling hills and verdant green pastures. He'd point to the far dist,ant horizon and tell me about the ancient battle of Naseby and where the country footpaths would lead us that were explored long ago by the Romans. My imagination was fired up by his story telling...
Learning story telling from Dad. . .
“It’s okay duck, they won’t hurt yer -- thems more 'frit of us.”
Reaching the hedgerows the subtle scent of wild roses would greet us along with the many songs of birds. Dad recognised which birds were making the calls and we would- peer carefully into bushes to see if we could spot any nests.
The ducks, the dance, the delight . . .
As we talked, or rather he talked and I listened, he passed on life’s lessons.
“Always make sure folk respect yer and try to be as honest as you can, although I know with yer ma it’s almost impossible.”
I knew what he was referring too... I felt so glad we were together alone, just he and I...
“You know yer a bright one,” he continued, “and don’t let anyone tell you that yer not.”
I still have to keep remembering his words...
So now, as I reflect back, I can recall vividly the images, the sounds and the scents of our country walks, " ...down the fields and by the cut” and all was beautiful -- Dad and I in nature, sharing our heritage.
Now I remember them . . .
those are the words on my parents’ gravestone in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside...
They are still my mantra.