Thursday, 31 December 2015

Finding Stories in Life

You may have noticed that I like stories.  I've mentioned it once or twice...

I try to collect different myths and cultural stories and share them with my kids.  I want them to see the world in all sorts of different ways.

This Christmas, I told them an adaptation of the Celtic legend of the Oak King and the Holly King.  I told them that the two kings are brothers.  The Oak King loves the sunshine and the light while the Holly King loves the stars and the night.  They fight to make the Earth entirely day or entirely night, each one adding a few minutes of either night or day every 24 hours.  On the winter solstice, the Oak King defeats the Holly King and begins to add extra daylight to every day.  On summer solstice, the Holly King defeats the Oak King and begins to add extra night to each evening.

My son asked why the Oak King couldn't just win and then it would never be bedtime.  (Like the practicality.)  I explained that if it was always day, then plants would be scorched and the Earth would get too hot.  And if it was always night, then we would freeze.  So both brothers are necessary for us to survive and even if they don't get along, they're still partners.

It's a different way of seeing the change of seasons, a poetic interpretation instead of a scientific one.  Now, I am a fan of science, but I also am a fan of myths and poetry.  They satisfy something deep inside our souls.  As long as we understand the purpose of both, I don't see a problem with either.

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