Story Collector — Part 1

As most of you know, a few years ago my husband and I bought a large RV, packed up our lives, and went on the road for 8 months with our two youngest kids. (If you are interested in more details, you can read blogs from our wanderings at )

One of my great delights as we travelled the West, was to meet new people and hear their stories. I guess I have always “collected” stories; but when you are wandering from place to place there are so many more people to meet and stories to hear than when you are staying-put in one home in one town.

I can't find the photos I took at Newspaper Rock. This was posted on

One day early in our wanderings, we drove off the main road and followed a small back road to get to Newspaper Rock State Park in southeastern Utah. It was definitely worth the drive…in fact, it is still the absolutely best collection of petroglyphs that we have seen so far!

I, of course, had to take photo after photo after photo of the rock face: big pictures, close-ups, photos of our kids leaning over the railing to get better looks, photos of the shadowy pictures behind the main pictures, and more. And while I was snapping photos, there was another fellow there who was doing the same.

I, of course, struck up a conversation with him. Somehow as we talked (and shot photos) we discovered a mutual love of caves in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, mutual challenges of facing and fighting cancer, and a mutual enjoyment of making up stories to go with the petroglyphs we were studying.

At one point, this fellow stopped, looked at me, and stated that I was clearly a “shaman” since he had never told most of this stuff to anyone else (other than his wife). WHOA! No, not me, I’m a Christian, I am certainly NOT a shaman…

But then he further explained that the role of a shaman is to collect the stories of his/her people, keep those stories alive in his/her heart, and share them with others as encouragement or challenge. Hmmm…after thinking about it, I realized this IS part of why I so much enjoy hearing the stories of people I meet. And it helps explain why I feel so privileged when others choose to share with me.

I’m still not willing to be named a “shaman” … but I happily accept the name of “listener” or “story collector.” In my world view, this interest is a gift that God has given me, a way to connect to others, and a way to encourage them. And collecting stories is an encouragement to ME!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: In My Own Little Corner… | Journey2Wonder
  2. Trackback: In My Own Little Corner… | Journey2Wonderful

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