Life is like a box of ..... Crayons!


by Kim Lally

It’s that time of year - September (well, actually August), when school starts and it feels like a new beginning. Different from a New Year’s new beginning - which often focuses on wellness- this beginning is often about intellect. Or education. Or purpose.

If you have children who go back to school, summer is over and your daily rhythm shifts. If you have children who leave the ‘nest’, you grapple with a different daily shift that may feel scary and rife with longing and reflecting. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you were once a child in school - and maybe you still feel that slight shift of rhythm at this time of year. Remember new school shoes or a lunchbox? Shopping for fresh new notebooks? A fresh box of crayons? 

A few days ago, a teacher of mine opened a big box of 64 crayons and asked us to ‘just smell’. That smell transported me back many years to a wooden desk with a piece of blank newsprint, a fresh box of crayons with those perfect tips, and finding that favorite color  - carnation pink, burnt sienna, gold... Ah, the wonder of what you would put on that page. Where to start? What color to use? What could or would it become?

This September, (or August), let’s try it. Buy a box of crayons -even just a small one. Get out a blank sheet of paper. Open the box and deeply sniff. Gaze at the empty page. And start drawing. 

Don’t focus on the outcome. Rather watch each mark, each color, each step. For each step is as important as the finished product. And, maybe, just maybe… as you take each step, a new pursuit may call to you. Learn a language? Read a mystery? Learn to cook Thai food? Start yoga? With each mark on that blank page, something may begin to call you to ‘try me’ this fall.

What if you just did it? Opened your heart, braced yourself and started something new? Use the thrill of a box of new crayons to get started. And see what comes. 

If not now, when?