When I was a little girl, I would love lying in my mother’s lap, as she told me stories that she would make up as she went along, and of course I would be a character in their somewhere. Brought warmth to my heart and I felt very loved. There was something so special about hearing her tell these stories, ones that looked inside the imagination of her mind and had yet to be printed onto a page. It would thrill me and I often prefred these to the written books by my bedside, begging her for one last tale or adventure before lights out. I guess this has been passed down to me, as I too make up stories for both of my children. Not everyday, but sometimes a season or place will spark the beginnings of something special. One of those which I told my son when he was very little about three or four years of age is about the magical yet brief season of snowdrops. Snowdrops are a delicate yet gentle flower that grows very closely to the ground. Often we would take a small picnic and walk along a beautiful River that wound its way along a valley floor. As we climbed up to reach a small section of road there would be hundreds and thousands of snowdrops lining the banks and walkways. I would tell him that this grand display of bobbing white flowers was also known as the ‘Fairy Hat Shop’. A magical place where all the fairy folk could gather to choose a hat to go with their outfit, so that when they attended the ‘Great Spring Ball’ they would look beautiful and be very proud of their choice. We’d bend down low and look more closely, and I would point out that each one was unique and different and although they all seemed the same, indeed they were not and there were plenty to go around. With my daughter we talk of the Purple dragon who lives by a large pond and he is only out at certain times of the year…sssh! (dragon village trail) and when she asks where he is. I tell her of the magical clouds and lands that he visits for his holiday and that he will return again one day. Every time we drive past the pond, she will still ask where the purple dragon is and when will he return and why doesn’t he move during the day, to which I reply that he only wanders about at night time when everyone else sleeps, toasting marshmallows on twigs for his supper, to which she folds her arms and pouts and says “but I want to see him and share those with him too!” ahh, the joys and pitfalls of a wise child and storytelling. I hope that however you celebrate your love and affection on Mother’s Day, that stories and moments are what is important and how that love can be expressed through the smallest of gestures and cost very little indeed. For my own mother with much love & gratitude for setting me on the long life path of the joy of books and reading, learning and seeking.