What can I say? It's the day after Valentine's Day, so a blog about love seems logical ... or at least close to my heart! I got to thinking about the way we love each other - and wondering if creativity could play a role in helping us to do it better?
We seem to be in the midst of a revolution of sorts in planning weddings, baby showers, and other special occasions with a bent for the unique, the quirky, the not-so-traditional, and the not-quite-like-any-one-else's. This can range from a refreshing change to just plain weird, but kudos to the creative part! But I'm thinking more along the lines of our everyday life with one another. Life that includes the ups and downs, highs and lows, good, bad, and ugly of ordinary existence on this planet. Do we show honest love in a creative way to those around us?
Once when I was growing up, a small child in my church congregation was terribly injured in an accident and lost a limb. Many people reached out to the family in their time of devastation. But the story I remember most vividly was of an older man who heard the news, and immediately got up from his dinner table, grabbed his pie with two pieces already cut out of it, and headed over to see the family.
Now while probably no one was really in the mood for pie, this spur of the moment creative act clearly said - I am taking time out of my life and coming just as I am to stand by you in this time of need. How many of us would have instead hesitated, or at least changed our clothes first, or stopped by a store for a whole pie, instead of quickly going over to simply be with them, which is what they really needed at that time more than anything else?
During my time spent mothering four young boys we had an activity called "puddle jumping”. I learned early on that little boys, rather than daintily stepping around puddles, tend to make a beeline straight for the puddles and jump right in - even in dress clothes! So rather than fight it, armed with rubber boots after a good rain, we would head out en masse to do a little puddle jumping - stomping and splashing around to our hearts' content! It was intended as a creative expression of my love for them.
My most recent example of creative love involves being the recipient of that kind of love. After returning from a long day out of town, my husband announced over dinner that he had been organizing, and had put all of my recipes into a new folder. What came out of my mouth was, "Oh nice!" But inside I was really, really sad. You see the reason I had never done that before now - even though the stack of printed recipes was several inches thick and the folder had completely ripped in half so that you had to put one hand underneath and another on top of the two halves to lift the huge messy stack of recipes out - was that on the front of that folder was a little yellow school bus drawn by the hand of a little boy over 20 years ago. I just didn't want to part with it. That little drawing made me smile every time I went to get a recipe out.
So imagine my surprise when my husband handed me the folder and there on the front was a neatly cut out and pasted picture of that little yellow bus now happily adhered to the new folder! That my friends, is creative love!
Creative love, or thinking-outside-the-box love, is taking the time to think what another person may actually want, or need, or even enjoy in a certain situation, and using our creative gifts to give exactly that - and what a gift it is!
Happy Valentine's Day! Do you have a creative love story to share?