I couldn’t wait to get home to start coloring. I’d throw my crayola’s across the bed and plop down on my pink chenille bedspread with the ‘roof over the top’ (canopy) where I could hide from the world and just color. All the while I’d be looking at the pictures thinking about what that ‘face’ or ‘situation’ was really about. Sometimes I’d pretend it was me in the book. I was that Barbie doll with the beautiful dress and tiara. I loved polka dots, so many times I would draw round circles on her dress to make it look more like me. I pretended I was a designer and signed my name at the bottom of the page, just in case I let someone else use the book to color too – I didn’t want them taking credit for my work of art.
I remember one time in particular I was coloring a fish in a pond with frogs on lily pads. I took such care to make sure I chose the right colors, that I “outlined” the objects and shaded the insides of them so they looked real. Well, for some reason this fish just bugged me. I didn’t care much for or about fish – but this one’s face was so cute. I remember thinking, what does he do all day in the same pond? Doesn’t that get boring? And why is he alone? So I drew a girl friend for him because I didn’t want him to be alone. Oh what a picture that was )
As I look back to those days, it seems to me that we all have the opportunity to ‘color’ our world to whatever shade we desire. And as we color, we can also ‘draw’ others into our picture. It is our canvas and being so, it’s our decision to create the artwork of our life. Sometimes it’s dark and depressing, other times it’s bright and fun and full of good people, places and things.
Now I know that everyday is a new day in the coloring book of life. I can pick up my crayola’s and color the day. It’s always my choice what picture I will color and what colors I will choose. If I don’t like the page I’m looking at, I can turn the page and go to the next. Eventually, the page I passed over yesterday will show up and will be the right one another day. No page is left uncolored in any of the pages of this coloring book called our lives. They may start out blank, but that emptiness is an opportunity waiting for us to fill the page with our colors.
I’m not an artist & that’s evident as I think back over some of the characters I’ve colored and drawn in my old coloring books – as well as drawn in my life. I continue to remind myself that I need to go back to that time when simple things like coloring entertained my imagination and filled me with visions of possibilities.
Our lives are like coloring books and we can color them with periwinkle, magenta, black, aqua, crimson red, forest green or leave a page blank. We CAN return to that time when it was just us and our crayons in a world that we were comfortable in. No adult judged our work, as a matter of fact, they encouraged us to share another one of our masterpieces with them. Somewhere between that time and now – many of us threw the crayons away, along with the power to color our world.
I encourage you today – get yourself a box a crayons, a coloring book – and color. The crayons are your feelings, the book is your life, the colors are always, always, always your choice. Plop on the floor, on the bed, at the table and let the colors of your imagination create the masterpiece(s) of your life.