A counsellor once told me that our favourite childhood book can reveal a lot about us as an adult. The themes and characters that so enraptured us in our first few years can give us insight into our motivations and influences as adults.
My favourite book was Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree. I don't think any other book has captivated me so much. I still remember with great joy Silky, the Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot and Moonface. What I recall in particular, apart from the magic of course, was the freedom enjoyed by those children who were allowed to roam for hours with no parental intervention whatsoever. I also remember the sense of wonder and adventure and unpredictability - which land would it be today at the top of the Faraway Tree?
What relevance do these memories have on my life today, you may be wondering. Well 'freedom' is my number one core value - freedom not just in the sense of not having to answer to anyone, but the freedom of allowing myself to be the authentic me, unedited, not trying to mould myself into what someone else expects me to be. And unpredictability has played out as a theme in my life at various stages, sometimes in an unhelpful way - the unpredictability of the moods of some of my past partners for example. Adventure too has played a role throughout my life - when I was younger it was living abroad and travelling. Now it's adventure in a quieter sense - the adventure of a new friendship or the adventure of learning a new skill or embarking on a new path. And the adventure of life itself - just as The Faraway Tree brings a new land to explore every day, sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, so life brings us a brand new day, ready to explore, enjoy, learn from.
What is your favourite childhood book? Can you see any themes in it that still play out in your adult life?