The Story of Us

Below I blog about the origins of ‘A Nepalese Adventure’, which has recently been published in an anthology by Mother’s Milk Books. I also briefly review ‘The Story of Us’ Anthology.

You can purchase a copy of ‘The Story of Us’ from Mother’s Milk Books or from Amazon.

The Story of Us
The Story of Us

Origins of ‘A Nepalese Adventure’

With my students in 1998
With some of my students in 1998

A year ago, my husband, daughter (then eighteen months) and son (then 4 and a half) and I spent almost six weeks in Nepal, our biggest adventure as a family to date. At the tender age of eighteen I lived in Nepal as part of my gap year, teaching children on a Tibetan refugee camp. I also trekked in the Himalayas and explored the country. This formative experience has hugely influenced my life. Nepal and its people captured my heart back in 1998 and still do today. I vowed if I ever had children I would take them to Nepal, to show them where I had once spent a truly magical part of my teenage years and to introduce them to one of the most beautiful places on earth. Last year I was very fortunate to be able to achieve this dream; after a tremendous amount of planning and preparation we were off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Our family trekking in the Langtang region, close to Gosainkunda
Our family trekking in the Langtang region, close to Gosainkunda

We spent a large section of our trip trekking in the mountains, which is where both my husbands and my passions truly lie. Our children have been brought up to regard the mountains and the woods as their second home, and are used to travelling in adventurous places, so this trip did not come as a surprise to them, although in some ways it did take us all out of our comfort zone due to the more basic nature of the facilities there and the poverty experienced at first-hand.

However, never for a moment did we regret our decision to embark on this adventure. It was a remarkable six weeks which will stay with me until I die. That is why I felt I needed to write about the experience on our return. I have written a lot about our time there, in magazines, on my blog and in the Mother’s Milk ‘The Story of Us’ anthology, after I was awarded commendation, along with some other wonderful writers, earlier this year.

The most poignant experience of the whole trip was arriving at the summit of Kangin Ri in the Langtang Himal region of Nepal. It is this moment which forms the basis of my prose writing. I hope that you enjoy reading it. More writing about Nepal and our other adventures can be found on my blog, including the charity work I was involved in whilst in Nepal.

The Anthology

I simply couldn’t put this anthology down, which is exactly what happened this time last year after reading the 2103 anthology! Many of the prose and poetry entries touched a cord with me; I felt connected to many of my fellow writer’s in the shared experiences of mothering.

However, if I had to choose my favourite poem, it would be ‘She is Autumn’ by Starr Meneely. Her words are straight from the heart of the love she holds for her daughter; I could sense the wildness and carefree nature of this little girl, a picture of a child so like my own daughter. I share her assertion that her daughter ‘lived on the periphery of my dreams’ when she was a child herself. I also feel that my daughter existed in the time before her birth, that she was present even as I was a child myself.

My favourite prose is ‘The Love of Five Dolls’, by Henrietta Job. This piece really touched me in the ever present grief of a lost daughter Amber, but also in the quiet triumph that after the fire which burnt both the house down and the doll which had belonged to Amber, the two were finally at peace and together again; ‘And then one day she left us, flew away so suddenly on her soft wings that we hardly knew what to do’. I wept as I read this, feeling the gaping loss this child had left behind which could never be filled. It also made me cherish my own children a little more and remind me that every day with them is a blessing.

I could mention so many more pieces which I also connected with, but I’ll leave you to read the anthology yourself to discover more. The anthology can be purchased directly from ‘Mother’s Milk Books’ or through Amazon.

You can also find ‘A Nepalese Adventure’ on this blog.

Mother's Milk Books

 

2 thoughts on “The Story of Us”

  1. You know, when I first read your piece, I was blown away by your Nepalese adventure! It’s something that I would like to do – see more of the world – and yet I think I would feel too ‘out of my comfort zone’ to actually do it. Who knows?!

    And I agree that ‘She is Autumn’ is a stunning poem. And ‘The Love of Five Dolls’ made me cry every time I read it (which proved challenging as editor and proofreader!). Thanks so much for getting involved with ‘The Story of Us’. Best wishes. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments Teika. You know, it was a challenge being taken out of our comfort zone, especially with young children, but was by far one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done as a family. It has been a pleasure getting involved in the Story of Us. It has been a real privilege to appear in the anthology. Thanks for your kind words abut my piece.

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