How do you make time for story?

This year’s theme for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is “Make Time for Story” and in the months leading up to the festival we want to find out how our volunteers, our audience and even our tellers make time for story.

Perhaps you make time for story by telling bedtime stories, scrapbooking, blogging, or journaling. Maybe some of you are creating works of art that tell your story through photography, dance, film, quilting, music, drawing, painting, writing or ceramics.  Some of you are absorbing the stories of others through reading, watching movies, attending storytelling concerts, or listening to podcasts.

In my family, we have numerous ways that we make time for story. My daughter is a talented artist and tells her stories through painting and drawing. My son, who has recently graduated from college, has written in a journal nightly since he was 8 years old. My daughter-in-law is a member of the Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company and tells her story through dance and through blogging. My brother-in-law has a bedtime routine with his daughter in which they create stories.  As for me, I make time for story by attending storytelling concerts, reading and listening to podcasts. Even my quilting habit allows me to express my story and see the stories of my fellow quilters.

Story has always been of interest to me, but lately I’ve been wondering if I make enough time for it. As my children are flying the coup I am wondering if I have taken time often enough to pass along the stories they will need to help them get through the rough times as well as to appreciate the good times.

My son Chase recently left the nest after graduating from college to begin a new job in a neighboring state. We’re a close family, so this is a big step for all of us. It got me  wondering if I have made enough time to tell him our family stories. What stories he will be taking with him and what stories does he still need to help him know who is he and where he comes from? Have I told him about his resilient pioneering ancestors who lived on the frontier fighting off bears, surviving sudden snow storms while trapped on the open plain without shelter?  Does he remember that his ancestors helped rescue the Donner party? If I did tell him, did I tell him often enough that he will remember them?

One of my goals is to make more time for story by recording the books, photos and other records that tell the story of my family to make them easily accessible to future generations. Knowing their ancestor’s stories can help my children and grandchildren know where they come from and how strong they can be. Not only is it important for me to pass their stories along, but I need to pass along my own stories as well. The bedtime stories I tell my grandchildren are an ideal time to tell them my story, but I also feel like I can make more time to record my stories through some type of journaling, whether that be electronically or by hand.

So, how do you make time for story? In what ways are you passing along your stories or creating new ones? We would love to hear from you. In the next few months this blog will be dedicated to finding people who have found joy by making time for story. If you know of someone who has found a creative way to make time for story or has a memorable experience of when they did make time for story, please contact us and let your story be told.