There is something so fantastic about a blank piece of paper. Clean. Open. Welcoming. I love the moment when Hannah pulls out a piece of blank white paper. She places is it on the table in front of her, pulls out a marker or crayon and sits staring at the paper. Her wheels turning. Her imagination spilling out of her. No rules. No expectations. No right or wrong.
I’m pretty sure Hannah never knows what she is going to create when she pulls out the paper and starts to draw. I like to sit back and watch her as she starts. She slowly doodles a shape on the paper and then sits back to examine it. Often she’ll turn the paper around and around studying the shape. Until it takes shape. And then she’ll begin her work. Today I watched her go from sitting with a blank piece of paper to an abstract green, bumpy shape to an amazing picture of a dinosaur wearing a dress and sunglasses, standing beside two “townhouses”, under an orange sky, its feet on blue grass with two dinosaur friends. I’m confident “I’m going to draw a scene with dinosaurs and townhouses” was not something that crossed her mind as she set out to draw today. But it’s where her imagination led her. It’s where her crayon took her. And she was quite satisfied with the outcome.
I feel like I live many of my days like this. I wake up with a blank day in front of me. No idea of what moods lay ahead. What obstacles I might stumble upon. All I can control is how I step out of bed. Whether I have a smile or a frown across my face. What “shape” I draw at 6:00 in the morning is all I can plan. The rest just happens.
In watching Hannah add more and more details to her picture today and seeing her get more and more excited with each addition to her picture, I realized what a great way THAT would be to live. To be more in control, more purposeful, with what I add to what’s already in my day. What details will make my “picture” more exciting, more satisfying. I don’t normally do this. Because it’s not easy to do. I usually just see my day falling apart in front of me and chalk it up to another one of “those” days. And if the falling apart starts at 10am, so be it, the rest of the day is lost.
I guess it doesn’t always have to be like that though. Things as easy as a vase of flowers, a cup of hot cider, a phone call to a friend, a thank you to someone unexpecting it can really make that early Shape of my day something Better.
I’m going through some crappy days lately. Crappy in that if I were to draw a picture at the beginning of my day it would just be a brown mud puddle. But I had an epiphany, and I’m Not letting the muddy waters drag me down. Nope. I’m putting on my new Target herringbone rain boots and I’m going splashing in those puddles. Because what fun will a picture of a mud puddle be to look back on when the sun comes out? Not fun. I’m adding some happy details to my paper. Maybe not a dinosaur wearing sunglasses. But happy none the less.