A story is the foundation of human culture, is the first vehicle people used to share knowledge and experience. The very first stories were not told but were drawn with images representing special events. A story is about connecting several elements together: characters, objects, places and actions into a meaningful timeline.
A story is at the core of the way we learn and translate the world as we experience it. Every good story has some form of curiosity, unexpectedness and indeed emotional content. Every story represents the inner being of the story teller: values, beliefs, interpretations, intentions and emotional energy. For this very reasons every story holds truth and myth at the same time. Every story tells a lot about the story teller probably more so then it tells about the events he or she are telling about.
On a recent week end trip along the Wisconsin river I’ve come across a lot of wildlife, and for someone living in Ireland, where the most terrifying encounter might probably be that of a fellow human being, it is indeed exciting and wondrous.
My first unique personal encounter was that of what I initially thought to be a wolf. Further research eventually contributed to form a doubt on its identity between a Red Wolf and a Coyote. Either way this wild canine held its own share of power and exuded respect. As it disappeared in the woods I remained in awe of this unique personal encounter, and wondered how much more is there to experience in the world.
As I moved along on my path, not far away and not too long after I had another interesting encounter. I’ve seen deers in the wild before so it didn’t surprised me as much. Yet it was interesting to see a bunch of 6 of them together grazing on what few months prior must have been a corn field. They all froze to attention as they became aware of my presence, for few minutes, they stayed still trying to decide if I was a danger, if the equipment in my hands was some form of weapon that could harm them. I took a few shots and as I was composting the next frame a flurry of movement caught my eye.
A few meters away a bunch of juvenile bald eagles, 3 year olds I believe, where bantering with each other to get a piece of what looked like a deer carcass. This too was a first, wild life at its primordial state of being. It didn’t take too long to connect the dots.
A hungry wolf stalking a herd of deer grazing, hidden in the bushes trying to identify the easier pray to target. Slowly getting as close as possible circling the herd to face the wind. Stealthily moving in the perfect position to strike. The youngest of the heard is the primary target. The wolf charges the foal with speed and power, crushing the deer’s jugular and holding onto it till the deer doesn’t move anymore. The rest of the deer herd can now settle, the wolf won’t pursue them anymore it has enough of one kill to survive. They keep themselves at a distance somewhat shaken by the event, undecided whether to continue grazing or mourn for their fallen foal. A few juvenile Eagles watch interested from their perch, they won’t waste any energy right away. They don’t have much flight time in the winter cold so they watch and wait for the wolf to take its share of the kill. Once the wolf had enough to eat, the time has come to return to the den in the woods. Time for the eagles to take their turn, clean up and finish off what remains of the prey.
I will never know for sure, this seems the most plausible explanation of the events that took place in these field, or is it? We never know how events truly unfold, the truth is always in the eyes of the beholder. Stories are important to wave reality and aspirations close together. A story creates a sense of meaning for what we experience, to support our values and beliefs. A story is a creative tool to shape the world around us. To inspire others at times, to justify our actions in some cases, to hold onto our learning and share it with others most of the times. To Remember what has been and choose to be the best we can be moving forward. A story is the heart of human kind.