Creativity is a hike through the mountains, peaking into the morning sun and falling in downward loops through the valleys. You walk the same path one hundred days in a row, each time finding something new to catch your eye: a red bird on a green branch, a whistle of the wind through broken limbs, a muddy ditch with a travelers footprint. We look at these details of life and find our inspirations, filing them away like food for energy.
After June’s birth my creative bursts ignited. I was filled with idea after idea, but no strength to complete the task. I wrote notes in my phone and scribbled half written sentences in a note book. I started blog posts I never published. I cut fabric into patterns I didn’t sew. I got out brushes but no paint. It was hard to find the time to dedicate to my craft. And each project I began ended up sitting unfinished, nagging at me for my neglengence.
I needed a project that would connect my hands to my mind again with the little time and energy I possessed. I needed to find a release in order to find myself again.
So, I started coloring wooden blocks.
Before June was born we purged our basement. I asked Sean to save all of the scrap pieces of wood that laid on the floor, the bi-product of a standing desk, tables, shelves. I knew that if I collected enough I could make a wooden block set someday for the baby within me.
Now, I sit in the mornings while June stretches her tired legs, sipping my coffee and coloring blocks. In the afternoons during a feeding, I swipe a new block and color a door or row of sidewalk tiles. I outline window panes and flower boxes, reflecting on my former child-self. What would I have built all those years ago? I channel the magic of childhood to create the whimsey of imaginative play. My mind draws a picture of what June will look like with pigtails, laying on her stomach, stacking these pieces one on top of the other.
Someday I will explain to my daughter how creativity relieves the soul.
By then she will be older, however; no longer in pigtails.
I am hopeful that by the time June’s first birthday arrives the collection of wooden blocks will be complete. And when at last she is old enough to play with them, I will hold my coffee cup and look at them, remembering the small stories behind each of them: of the mornings she spent stretching her legs.
But my biggest hope of all is that, perhaps, this small homemade block collection will kickstart the creator inside of her.