I was born with a hole in my heart. It was repaired with a patch when I was five years old, a highly developed puncture repair kit to which I owe my life. In the years before I was repaired I was often ill and so, unable to run around or engage in rough and tumble with other children I learned to read. I filled the hole in my heart with stories: stories of triumph and disaster, magic and mystery, struggle and redemption. I read and I listened and I lived in a world where my heart was whole. I lived in my imagination and always felt there was more to the world than we can see and touch, much like the secrets of the ocean teeming beneath the rippling surface.
I recovered from my operation and I grew up. I left behind the dreams of my childhood to become a lawyer and an accountant. I worked for an investment bank and I settled into a more prosaic life. And then my children were born. Watching their eager engagement with the new world they found themselves in rekindled a flame within me and started a new one. I knew they would look to me to show them how to live so, afraid or not, I had to become the kind of adult I want them to grow into. I had to change my life.
For them I want all the magic the world can offer. I want them to love wholeheartedly and sob uncontrollably when they lose. And then I want them to pull themselves back up and try again. I want love to be at the centre of their lives, love for their family, their friends and themselves, love for work, for play and for relaxation. And so I have returned once more to the stories I never stopped loving and, step by step, I am becoming the storyteller I always wanted to be.