Nancy Wilde Sartz Roe


It took me a long time to realize I have a story—a story worth telling, a story worth knowing. You see, as a 1950’s born, mostly middle-class, mostly Midwestern grown, mostly Caucasian American—I am ordinary. Mostly. The third of four children, I was born into a family where births came every three ½ to six years. The lot of us grew up with two cats, two dogs and two birds. We lived in small homes with big yards for playing and for raising vegetable gardens. Early in our family life, Mother stayed at home and Daddy worked. On the outside, we appeared very much like everyone else in our culture in our time.

But on closer examination, the extraordinary rises to the fore, overshadowing the story of ordinary. For there exists beneath the ordinary, seeds of something else, something more, buried deep. Over time and with the right conditions, the very seeming commonplace and of no consequence life can burst out of the constraints and restraints, burst out of the hum drum of ordinary into the extraordinary—out into the open, into wild adventure. Though a tale worth telling reveals those things, not easy to live or survive. But survive I did. And so, I dare to tell it.

As I embark on this story telling adventure, I sink into the depths of reflection. Here, I find that my life plays out as a fairy tale with all the trappings. Beauty, honor, privilege, promise, wonder, light and laughter, adoration, esteem, adventure, exploration and transcendence weave through a landscape of loss, death, torment, desolation, suffering, trauma, abandonment, sorrow, bitterness, abuse and exploitation. Or is it the other way around? Perchance, the stories of loss and suffering weave through a tapestry of light and beauty. I imagine it will become clearer to me and to you as we explore this landscape together. Perhaps you will meet yourself here. Perhaps you are ordinary just like me.