The personalities and traits of each bird in my Treetop Love Series are drawn from people I know and my own. Out the twelve birds, the last bird my peeps would associate with me is Stewart.
Stewart is a reformed gossip. He was never malicious. He was simply a collector of tales. The problem was, they weren’t necessarily his stories to tell.
I am definitely not a gossip now, but as a child I was. Like Stewart it was never my intention to be malicious. Rather, I felt I didn’t have stories of my own to tell.
I was a very solitary child. I spent endless hours in my bedroom painting, drawing, sculpting, and reading. When I was outside, I would sit for hours on a hill cloud watching.
This was fine until I started going to school. I desperately wanted to fit in, but my cloud watching did not match the stories the other children were telling: sports, trips to Disney, camping, social clubs, siblings and associated shenanigans.
I was really good at observation — from all that cloud analysis — so I absorbed their stories. I would then retell them. This, however, got me into trouble as they weren’t my stories to tell.
Although I never associated this behaviour with gossiping, I instinctively never felt good about it. This ickiness was reinforced by the other children getting mad at me.
By my early twenties, I had my own stories to tell. Having three children by age 24 will do that. I also vowed never to tell other people’s stories, although I would slip into old patterns until finally shedding them completely in my mid-forties.
People fascinate me. With more than a half century of observation, I have come to see that we are all far more similar than unique in our thoughts and actions. A bard speaks to these patterns, and as Stewart learned
The world absolutely needs storytellers to point out our strengths and weaknesses such that we are inspired to learn and grow.
Through the Flock I get to be a story teller. May we all learn and grow through them.