I got so excited when I came across the page in Wreck This Journal, that says “Color this entire page.” For a girl who never met a box of crayons she didn’t like, this page made me giddy right from the start. While contemplating the blank page, I was instantly reminded of something my sister and I did when we were kids. My grandmother showed us how to turn a boring piece of paper into a work of art by simply drawing an endless line of curves and curls until the whole page was filled with a random design. Then, it was all about filling in the gaps with color, in any sequence or color palette. Who needs a coloring book when you can make your own pictures?
With that in mind, I took a marker and reverted to my nine-year-old self for my journal page. I made curves in random directions until I ran out of space and then I picked out the brightest colors from my crayon box. One by one, I filled in all the spaces until the entire page glowed with color.
I went a little nuts with the crayons!
While I never really ignore my inner child for any extended period of time, this page was a nice reminder to hold onto that little girl inside of me. Children always see the world with so much wonder and curiosity, as if every day is an adventure. I never want to lose that, no matter how old I get. There is a such thing as having it both ways – I can be a responsible adult who goes to work every day and pays her bills, but I can also be a girl who plays with crayons and marvels at the world around her with an inherent sense of wonder.
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Even in a city as big and as loud as London, it is possible to lose yourself in the sound of lapping waves on the river and the warm feel from a spot of sun. Along the South Embankment of the Thames, I sit on a bench that offers an amazing view of Parliament (no matter how many times I’ve seen it, the building itself is never less than impressive). It’s late afternoon and rain threatens, but I along with a few others decide to take advantage of the fact that the showers have yet to fall. The gentleman beside me reads a book about Barbarossa and I am content with a freshly pressed edition of the London Evening Standard. The rumble of urban traffic is faint in the distance and the hum of boat motors skip across the water, but above all else the trees overhead rustle with a pleasing wisp of leaves bumping into one another. Big Ben chimes at half past the hour and I take in the day’s news.
Before long, I’m absorbed in stories about illiteracy in London, theatre reviews, and political debates over the economy and NHS. A strong, chilly breeze fights for control over the newspaper pages, but I press on and win the battle. The noise of the city is all but gone. It’s just me and newsprint whittling the day away, one story at a time. I could be anywhere and nowhere all at once. It’s just another day until I look up and see a shaft of sun hit Parliament and bounce off Westminster Bridge. In amazement, I realize I’m in the heart of London basking in a stunning reminder of the good fortune that brought me to this beautiful place.
Here’s my view, shortly before the rain came pouring down . . .
A sense of wonder
lights the dark
of a starless night
A crescent moon
dreams of fireflies
silver kissed ripples
Beating wings carry
beacons of hope
Satin blue peeks
through broken clouds
The last few raindrops
cling to newborn
leaves of spring