I get asked by friends all the time about why I tell stories through the lens of Earth science. In other words, why do I write what I write? It’s a great question. Not everyone associates rocks and dirt with anything they want to read about. Let me try and explain.
I love writing about these things because I think they have a story to tell. Everything around us, the rocks, the soil, the trees, has a story. That doesn’t make any sense, right? Hold on…
I’m drawn to these types of stories because of the similarity to our stories as human beings. People’s stories are compelling. They show us how others handled situations in their lives, most of which we can relate to through our own experiences. Through those shared experiences we build an understanding of the people we read about.
The stories of objects can take on similar meaning. We tell stories all the time about things in our lives that have meaning. The sentimental objects we hold onto because it belonged to someone we loved or is a part of our history.
The Earth is no different.
It’s where we spend all of our time, but it’s been around for so much longer than most of us can dream of. Instead of being written down in books, the Earth’s story is written in rock and soil, or bone and dust. Yes, the language of science can be a barrier to understanding what the book is saying, but the end result is the same as if those words were written on a piece of paper. The place you are right now has, over millions of years, could have been anything from an ocean to a mountain, or anything in between. Think of all the possibilities. Sure, the entirety of Earth’s story takes a long time to read. But it’s worth it. Still, that may not be enough for people to engage in that story.
What if we add a narrative? What if we add characters as a means to tell that story? That could be fun.