As regular followers of my blog well know, every morning begins with me taking my loyal hound Xena on a two to three-mile walk. She has her regular routes and I simply allow her to choose which path of discovery she would like to follow on any given day. Of late, we have found ourselves walking through the neighborhoods near the house.
Over the course of the past two weeks, we have taken one particular route on several occasions. This morning found us trotting through that same route. As we crossed the street and got ourselves back on the sidewalk, Xena broke off of the sidewalk. She was avoiding one specific spot where some children had drawn colorful scenes with chalk. I too made sure not to smudge these adolescent masterpieces either.
As we moved along, pausing to allow the dog to sniff a telephone pole, I reflected on the sidewalk chalk drawings that we had just passed. I was intrigued by the fact that the sketches were still as crisp as the first time we passed them several weeks ago. There had not been any rain or snow lately, so it stood to reason that the pictures would still be crisp. Still, you would think that somebody would have walked over the drawings by now! Then again, maybe they walked around them; much the same as the two of us had!
The sketches were simple, yet they carried a certain power behind them. One scene was a group of stick people, holding a big red heart between them. Another panel was the sun peeking out from behind a cloud, with a multicolored rainbow arching across the scene. The third picture was a simple grouping of a dog and cat! It was obvious what was important in the hearts of these pint-sized artists!
What if each of us could pick up a bucket of well-worn chalk and draw our hopes and aspirations on a blank canvas of clean sidewalk? What if we could share our dreams for the entire world to see? What if all those who came across our chalk expressions paused to admire them? In fact, they even went out of their way to walk around our drawings! They respected what we were saying and stepped around the scenes, so as not to smudge them or disturb them in any way?
How often do we take that bold step of sharing our deepest dreams and aspirations with others? Do they truly stop to listen and embrace our hopes? Or do they simply trudge right over what we have painted, oblivious to our attempts to reach out to them? Are we compelled to feel the sting of disappointment? Are we more likely not to share again, for fear of inevitable rejection?
Xena had grown bored with the aromas wafting from the telephone pole. We continued down the sidewalk as I peered over my shoulder and saw the sidewalk drawings growing smaller and smaller in the distance. Those anonymous children had run out the front door, emptied their bucket of chalk, and innocently had begun to sketch what was in their minds and hearts! They had not stopped to think that somebody might step on their scene or that the rain might wash away their masterpieces! They did not fear criticism or rejection of their heartfelt works! They just simply expressed themselves; they shared unselfishly!
Care to borrow my red stick of chalk? There is enough sidewalk for both of us!