Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Motor that I Call My Heart

It was the last night of school camp. We had just finished a long bush walk. Night had fallen. It had been a hard day. I was tired. I was 11.

I stood in the darkness watching as the rest of my class chased each other around a large field. I could have joined in, but I wanted someone to call out to me, to tell me to come and play. No one did.

I was standing there, feeling lonely, when my teacher walked over to me. She said something - I can’t remember what - something reassuring, and then, out of the blue, she held my hand.

My teacher knew what it was like being 11 years old; knew what it felt like when the world started to lose its magic. My teacher knew that sometimes, when you can’t work out how to be strong by yourself, you need someone who has had a bit of practice at it to show you how it’s done.

Somehow, just by holding my hand, my teacher showed me how to be strong when things are hard. Just by holding my hand, my teacher taught me about heart.

There are many examples of fictional characters that find themselves on a journey, a journey that will require them to be stronger than think they can be. When a character fails to be strong, you, the reader, might find yourself, figuratively speaking, reaching out to hold that characters hand. This is how an author shows you something you may not have realised: you are ready to reach out and hold the hand of someone who needs it. You have heart.

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