Sunday, January 11, 2009

KINDERGARDEN SCHOLAR

I started Kindergarten very young. I was only four years old when timidly I walked into a classroom near the south wing entrance of Hudson Elementary School in the autumn of 1963. The windows in the school were both tall and grand and allowed for endless warmth and sunshine. It was the heavily stained, gray-green walls and the darkness of the discolored wood flooring that was frightening to me. Nothing I recall seeing during that early September morning was the least bit inspiring. I wanted to go home. I wanted to return to the sanctuary of my mother’s calming face and the simplicity of my favorite coloring books and my extra fat, pre-school crayons. I cared nothing about learning my ABC’s and even less about playing Tetherball, Kickball, 4-Square or Tag. As my size would later dictate, I was viewed as being too small, too tiny to ever be thought of as valuable. I was a late reader, was terrible at Arithmetic (that is what it was called back then), and save for my endless imagination, I felt alone. When my classmates enjoyed successes, I struggled with my perceived failures. I was placed in a sectioned off group for “slow learners” and there I would sit for many a season. And so began my battle for acceptance.

I couldn’t have possibly understood it then, but the longing to fit in had engulfed me, forcing me to hide deeper within my own thoughts and ideas. I was fearful that if I dared speak truthfully of my desires, I would further separate myself from my peers. More often than not I sat quietly aside. Emerging only when necessary to draw fresh breath or when I remembered to comb, what I believed to be, my “mousy brown hair”.

Ultimately it was my daily forty-five minute art class that proved to keep me grounded. When allowed, I would paint. More often than not I would draw and begged endlessly for paper and pen. On the rare occasion we could afford something special at home, I’d search the store aisles for the latest child-based craft project offered by our local five and dime. When I was disciplined enough to not squander my tiny allowance on penny candy or a bottle of Bubble-Up, I would save my quarters and spend them on colorful embroidery floss, tubes of shiny glass beads or maybe even a new sixteen color paint box. A beautiful world was calling out to me to press onward. I just didn’t know how to listen to her whispers.

It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties than I began to surrender to my deeply rooted dreams and to the voice I had long ago silenced. With great determination I finally accepted the fact that I was never going to master mathematics, love science, become a musician or excel in sports. I chose to abandon the pretender within and embrace my most private of passions. I simply loved to create and whether my coffers were full or empty, I was going to live my life doing it.

I revisit that four year old little girl on occasion. Sometimes, when it’s really quiet, before the sun is up and the day pulls me in, I can feel our hearts beat as one. And when I do I tell her this. I say “Be real! Live your life with meaning and honor. Be fully the child you are called to be and listen not to the non-believers who are sent to discourage and destroy you. Be at rest within God’s Blessings. Glory in His Gifts…for therein is where you will find true peace…”

3 comments:

a tea girl... said...

Sweet ~r~,
Gosh, how wonderful, and well said.. You write so beautifully, and well, scripted.. You paint a picture in words so wonderfully as you do as an artist as well..You truly have a calling to inspire as well..mmm..maybe you should write too.. Quite touching.. And yet you know where your strength and gifts come from.. He is our refuge and strength, and to HIM be the glory in all we do.. You are AMAZING...Quite the talented and ever so humble woman you are..
only love to you.. ~t~

My Pink Boutique said...

Hi Rebecca.
What a good post! We all can easily become lost in what we "thought" we were/are supposed to be and do. It's only through knowing Him that we can realize who He created us to be and that our gifts and talents are ours for His glory. G-d is so good!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I've added you to my blog roll and would be delighted to be added here as well. :)

Hugs,
Kimberly

jenx67 said...

It is a crying shame that kids today don't get 45 minutes of art class every day. It's more like once a week for 30 minutes - if they're lucky.

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