I don’t know who, if anyone can or will understand how important this one small thing is. I did not know how important it would be. But you know how you grow up wanting to be able to do something, but you never really could. You never had the talent to do it. Oh, sure, you could pretend or say, “I just like doing it for fun. I don’t’ really care how it looks or sounds or indeed, how bad it really is.” All the while thinking, “I so wish I could sing or dance or draw or whatever like that.” And you know you could take classes but you also know that you would never really be good.
I carry some of that around in the back of the place I store my insecurities (for which there are many boxes).
This morning just to make sure I had proof of weather, I leaned out the front door and quickly took some pictures of the snow and ice.
But there is a tree outside the front of our home. It looks a little bedraggled, and it’s lightweight and flexible, more so on the top, but kind of all over. This morning the weight of freezing rain, sleet, and snow curled the top of that tree right on over itself, making it look like a Dr. Seuss character. Like a Who down in Who-ville.
So I said to no one in particular, though Son 1 was in the kitchen with me, “This looks like something from Dr. Seuss.”
I just started sketching it out with a pen in my notebook. I was surprised when my hand started to move the pen across the page, my eye staying on the picture, trusting my hand. She knew what she was doing. I turned to look and I had drawn the tree’s little bowed head, though a bit more bird-like (as I saw him).
Completing the picture in just a minute or two, I held it at arm’s length and I felt my voice catch before I’d said a word.
“Look, Jared, it’s a bird from Dr. Seuss,” as I showed him both photo and sketch. He chuckled and laughed, agreeing with me. “I drew that,” I said.
I drew that.
Such an inconsequential sentence. The tears that I tried so hard to keep inside slid insidiously down my cheeks. Why? Why am I tearing up over a goofy drawing of a tree, and probably not that good?
It took writing this down before I think I came up with the answer. The limits I have, I put there. And the older I grow, the wiser I become. Somehow I gave myself permission to draw a silly bird based roughly on a bedraggled tree. Does it make me Picasso? Don’t be ridiculous. Does it make me happy? Ridiculously so. Do I wish I’d have given myself permission earlier, or permission for how many other instances? Not really. Most times I believe the universe comes to us when we are ready to receive it. Take that as you will. Call the universe what you want. I was given a moment of grace this morning, and there are no regrets.