Friday, August 3, 2007


One of my favorite childhood pastimes was to lay on my back in a spacious green field somewhere near our home, look up at the sky, and imagine it to be God's big blue coloring pad. He drew the most wonderful things for me to see in the clouds there...a gigantic elephant, a bunny rabbit, a crocodile, an angel, etc. Let me explain why I needed an outlet, as a child, like putting my head in the clouds.

We moved every six months to a year when I was a youngster. I was in seven schools before I got to the sixth grade. Some subjects became a real chore in school, such as Math. We would move in the middle of a school year. My new peers would have just finished fractions and percentages and be on a new part of Math. Don't you know it...I would have just finished what they would be starting (which was the very part of Math I seemed to be excellent in for six years in a row), and struggled the rest of the year when fractions and percentages were thrown into a test. I heard this comment from teachers more than once, "Missy, I wish that you would apply yourself all the time on the parts of Math you don't like, as well as you do on those you do like!" That's one of the reasons that I asked my husband in later years to promise that when our children came along, we would stay put until they were out of school. He did, and we did! I know that's a long way from the subject of clouds, but for some children's sakes, I thought I'd give those who move around something to think about from someone who has been there.

Getting back to clouds and God's coloring pad...I loved to draw as a child. I enjoyed reading too. Many of the things I would read about, and later draw, seemed to end up on God's big coloring pad too. As a child I thought God was wonderful to be so much like me! I was a sponge when it came to reading. Books became close friends that went everywhere I went. You are either shy and don't have many friends when you move about often, or you don't meet a stranger and have many. I was the latter. I learned to speak to everyone. It was my way of seeing if they wanted to BE friends with me. If they didn't want me as a friend, I'd move on to someone else that did. Even though I had many good friends, the one that I never had to leave behind when moving somewhere else was God. He was to become a lifetime friend! I guess that was another reason I thought His cloud drawings were so special. God's cloud drawings were animated too; because as they meandered across His drawing pad, they changed shapes as if they were walking. I could never make my drawings do that!

I would go on wonderful journeys during those times when I gazed at God's artwork. We all know from our childhood storybooks whose garden that pesky rabbit lived in that loved to eat the farmer's carrots. Africa was where elephants lived. Boggy swamps were where crocodiles slithered around. And lastly, who could draw a better angel than God. It seemed that as a child, as soon as I'd learn about a new continent, a new animal I'd never known before would end up in the clouds. I did have a vivid imagination as a child. I guess it's true what they say about reading and drawing: they are both forms of art.

No comments: