It’s the way of connecting the past to the future, via the present, the everlasting now.
The story is primal; it’s one of the few things, in the final analysis, that makes humans different from every other living thing on the planet. Not the idea of mortality. Not bravery or love or desire, but the idea that the past exists — still exists, in its way — and will always exist.
The story allows us to see through the eyes of our mothers and fathers, and theirs, and theirs, as far back as memory will allow. The story connects us to people we’ll never meet, to places we’ll never see and to ideas that we would never have formed on our own.
We all know that our time is fleeting. We all have an end date we represent with a question mark, one day to be filled in by others. The idea of making something that will outlast us is key to our core. We want the mark that says “I was here.” Children are often the answer to this yearning, and yet, they are their own story, pulling from us but making a story only they can tell.
The idea of taking the story, of adding to it, of joining the conversation and making part of it your own, is a powerful one. It’s a heady notion, that one raindrop can add anything to the river, but that’s all that makes the river flow.