Once upon a time there was a boy named Sabastian. He dreamed of becoming a writer. From the time he learned the Alphabet song, he recognized the power of letters. While other children played with blocks, Sabastian played with letters, building words and phrases and sentences until he was writing whole stories. From lost snowflakes and found puppy dogs to ferocious dinosaurs and sleeping turtles, he wrote.
Sabastian’s mother called his gift sunshine because whenever Sabastian was lost in the thrill of a story, sunshine radiated out of him. He glowed. ‘The sun always shines for Sabastian,’ she chimed.
One day it rained. It rained so heavily that Sabastian didn’t write for days. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Sabastian, now a forty-year-old man, had a family of his own. He ached to write. At nights, after his family was asleep, he would sneak into the kitchen with his yellow pad of paper and stare at it. After an hour, he sadly put the paper away, writing nothing. For years he couldn’t figure out how to recapture his sunshine.
Something drastic needed to be done. A month later, Sabastian kissed his wife on the forehead, squished his children close to his heart, and set out on a pilgrimage to find his sunshine, using the money he had saved for a rainy day.
His first stop was London, England. When he arrived at the theatre, his heart skipped a beat. The whispers of great playwrights danced on his shoulders.
“What brings you to the Globe, love?” A woman wrapped in a turquoise shawl slipped beside him as he admired the grand stage.
“I’m not visiting, love.” Her brown eyes were electric and piercing.
As she turned her lips up to smile, he knew. It was the great Dame–the most illustrious actress in
“Where do you find it? How can you capture magic onstage every night without fail?”
“It’s all right here.” She tapped her heart.
His next stop: Florence. From statues to architecture to paintings in the Uffizi, sunshine greeted him at every turn.
“How did you do it?” He whispered while relishing the glory of Michaelangelo’s David. “How did you create so much? How could you hold onto your passion and vision?”
In the quiet of the gallery, the answer came to him. Diligence.
Finally, Sabastian journeyed to Greece. Sunshine blanketed him as he reread his favourite myths from the top of Mount Olympus.
“How have these stories lived for centuries?”A scrunched flyer tumbled to his feet. ‘Understand the mystery of life and humanity.’ He didn’t need to read further. Returning home, Sabastian felt inspired to write. Late that night, after everyone was asleep, he tiptoed to the kitchen with his yellow pad of paper. He sat. He stared. Nothing.
Then, he looked up beyond the page. The kitchen was bathed in a most peculiar light. He saw colourful letters dancing in the orange juice on the counter, stories swimming with the goldfish on the shelf, and beautiful phrases glowing in the artwork on the fridge.
Sabastian closed his eyes and listened to the words tumbling from the sunshine in his heart. He began to write, surrounded by the most valuable treasures in his life.
This story was first published in the Word Weaver in February/March 2004