“Life in the Seven Kingdoms is never dull . . .” 

–Jen McConnel, School Library Journal

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“I Want To Be Strong”

A castle in the middle of the current is strong

Kaub castle is red and white plaster with gray turrets. It stands on an island in the middle of the Rhine River
This castle in the middle of the Rhine is the inspiration for the Blackfly Kingdom in the Seven Kingdoms. It's doing its best to be strong! Pfalzgrafenstein castle, Germany.

And so are you . . .

This song is one of the first I ever learned to play on the guitar. I learned it from my girl scout leaders (Thanks, Vicki!!) and taught it to my own girl scout troop, years later.

My co-leader used to say it gave her chills when the first and second graders sang it. It’s so amazing to see the bravery that kids display when they do things for the first time.

      • Jumping into the deep end of the pool

      • Riding a bike without training wheels

      • Reading in front of the class

      • Introducing themselves at a brand new school

    All of these can get the adrenaline blasting even when you are watching from the sidelines. It’s thrilling to take a risk. It brings magic into your life when you try something new.

    As a parent, sometimes it takes courage to have an important conversation with your kids. But it’s always worth it, isn’t it?

    Do you have a story about trying something new? Either from your own life or from the kids or grandkids?

    I Want To Be Strong

    I want to be strong,
    To be strong as the land around me.
    I want a heart that’s as wide as the sky.
    I want a spirit like a moving mountain stream.
    I want to look people straight in the eye.
    Walking along beneath a canopy of cloud,
    Feeling like a stranger in the midst of a crowd,
    I know that something great is calling me aloud.
    I know that I must choose.
    The crowd is crying because there’s hunger and hate
    If we stand it’s not too late
    A loving, laughing world we’ll be able to create,
    Underneath the endless* sky.

    “I want to be strong” is by Glenn Close and Kathe Green. (More about the song on Wikipedia.)

    *We always sang “azure” instead of endless.

    Listen to the original song on YouTube:

    A Special Shout-Out to Erika Mager and Sussu Leclerc who found the composer and songwriter for me! Thank you so much!!

    Why I write stories about trying new things

    So often it’s the risks we take, the challenges we face, the step into the unknown that brings us deep joy in life. I learned this song when I was a young girl scout, but I still want to be strong, don’t you?


    What do the kids in your life say when you ask them about being brave?

    Do their answers give you the chills?

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