Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her American Idol was not a pop singer or a hip hop dancer, because at the time TV was not in the least what it is today. Her idol was a writer – Louisa May Alcott, the author of “Little Women”. It wasn’t because she had read Alcott’s books. She was still a bit too young for that. It was because she had read her biography, actually every version found on the shelves of the school library.
Something about young Louis captivated her soul and made her want to grow up and be like her. In some ways, more than 50 years later, she still does. The stories the little girl read about the Alcott family remain as vivid as they were when the words first jumped off the page into her imagination. That little girl was me.
As a child young Louisa would sit amongst the branches of the apple tree and write stories. Since we did not have an apple tree, I had to compromise. Second best to an apple tree was the bathtub. For hours I would hide in the tub, notebook in hand and an apple to munch on and write to my heart’s delight. One day, just before we immigrated to Israel, my mom was showing the house to potential buyers. You can imagine how shocked they all were to find me sound asleep in the tub.
Growing up Louisa made three wishes. She wanted to be rich so that she could look after her parents when they grew old. She wanted to be famous and she wanted to travel to Europe. Growing up, I too made three wishes, albeit somewhat different from Louisa’s. My wishes were to give, to love and to do good. Louisa achieved her wishes. I am still working on mine.
What fascinates me in hindsight is that Louisa not only played school with her sisters, but wrote about a very special kind of school in “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys”. The school she describes in many ways is the kind of school I dream of opening.
Stories have always been a big part of my being. It seems that I always have a story to tell, but I still have not become the writer of my dreams. HumblyHuman is a challenge to myself to take my stories, which orally come so naturally, and put them in writing, and thus, make my childhood dream come true.