It was a full moon evening, Friday October 12. Two months past the fateful day. My friend Jeff had invited me to a neighborhood storytelling gathering in Mill Valley. Jeff had witnessed his neighborhood go from open lots where children played with each other and adults visited to a fenced patchwork of tightly closed plots. Rather than just give up to a life of solitary existence Jeff decided to create a weekly storytelling gathering that would bring the neighborhood together. I was amazed that in this era of me, me, me and mine, mine, mine and event like this was happening. What a joy!!
In the backyard of a beautiful house about fifty families gathered. The evening started with some songs accompanied by guitar, double bass and our voices lifted to the night sky. The interweaving of our voices created an unmistakable magic that lifted the hearts of all those present. After twenty minutes of singing I was introduced. With my origins being Africa, we did a chant inviting the ancestors to be present with us for the evening. Using my body, my drum and involving all the children who were present I wove a tapestry of stories that highlighted the virtues of sharing, illustrated the value of all of us caring for each other and even in this time of angst and fear, the magic of peace. For an hour and a half we held each other mesmerized by timeless stories. It was an evening beyond any expectations that I had. Children with their parents sharing in the magic of timeless gems.
Here is an excerpt from a letter that I received from Jeff who organized the evening:
“Thank you for your depth, inspiration, humor and love. People had an amazing evening. You really lifted people’s spirits. Leslie and Earl told me some one folded up a hundred dollars and put it in the hat for you.
In this culture that is a sign that you really reached that person’s heart with who you are and what you are doing. People really could feel your commitment to peace and love as a way of life. You have done some great work in that orchard. Many of the seeds you sowed last night will be bloom for thousands of years to be passed down and down through out history. Those little seeds of caring, compassion and love.”
I thank you for the opportunity to share this piece if news with you. Stories are the glue that holds society together and as long as I have my voice I will be telling stories. Thank you again for this site and the service it provides.
Infinite blessings and May Peace Prevail on Earth. _______
C. 2002 Masankho K. Banda is a storyteller in California, USA. Please see his page at : http://www.storyteller.net/tellers/mbanda/