Nights are long and cold. We are all indoors, huddling around the source of heat and light. In today’s world that means heaters and televisions, but in the past it was a fire. The fire provided heat and light, and the people provided entertainment. They made music and told stories. Recently a cousin of mine reminded me that we come from a long line of storytellers and music makers. He shared some of his music with me. That made me remember the stories our fathers told us about when they were boys and how they passed long, cold nights. I remembered their music making, too. As time has moved on we have gathered as an extended family of cousins. We told stories among ourselves. The music makers made many joyful noises.
I come from a long line of Bards. In case the name Murphy didn’t give it away, we are of primarily Irish descent. The arts of the Bard flow richly through us. Bards did much more than provide entertainment to the folks who around them. Their songs and stories were the way history and traditions were kept alive through the generations. If not for those Bards there is much we would not know about the history and beliefs of the people who came before us. Have the stories been embellished over time? Of course they have! You have to get and keep the attention of the audience. However, the essence of truth is in those songs and stories, and that is how the past is kept alive. I am now one of the Elders of the Clan. I am also a storyteller. I have watched as different members of the Clan have aged into their talent, their power, as Bards. The young ones gather around us as we share the stories of the family. They listen to the music. Their talents are beginning to show themselves now as one picks up an instrument, or another starts telling a story.
As Winter wraps herself around us, gather your family close. Turn off the television. Tell stories and sing songs about those who walked before you. Make sure that the young ones hear the songs of their own personal history so that the history stays alive. If this is a new practice for your family, you might be surprised what hidden talents all of you have. Call on the power of the Bard to make Winter a little less frightening.