I remember one of my first forays into story writing.
At the time, I was living in Williamsburg, Virginia. We often went to the Powhatan Indian village, in the recreated Jamestown Settlement. I loved walking into the wigwams and longhouses that they lived in, gazing up at the bent sapling framework and woven mat roofs. The smell of birch bark, smoke and Virginia damp air enveloped me in this little settlement. It was pure magic.
I pestered the tour guides to teach me everything; thankfully they were patient with the overenthusiastic, precocious little redhead named Dana. I learned that sweat lodges were believed to chase away sickness, that the Powhatans traded with wampum beads (made of purple and white shells), and my heroine, Pocahontas, didn’t actually marry John Smith.
As you can probably guess, my favorite movie was Pocahontas. I would sing “Colors of the Wind” non-stop, and collected rabbit foot key chains, imagining that I had trapped the rabbits myself. My mom, encouraging my creativity, would staple together paper books for me, so I could write stories about my favorite characters. I loved to make up adventures about Pocahontas, John Smith, and Thomas (a fictional character from the movie). I also spent quite a bit of time in my own mind, creating dialogue and developing the world they lived in.
This memory is one I haven’t thought of in a while, but came to mind when I was listening to a Pixar Story Telling Course on Khan Academy. This memory is filled with vivid emotions of excitement and passion for creating. It reminds me that I am a storyteller, and that I have been since I was a little girl.