Posted in Raising kids

E.E. Cummings’ poem for the young at heart

I came upon this nostalgic poem that is great for the changing season and shorter days. This poem reminds me of my kid’s curious eyes and wide smile when they gaze upon nature’s marvels, like finding a hermit crab perched on a rock, discovering a strange-shaped leaf, or seeing squirrels dart across the yard. It seems bland after so many seasons, but to children, it’s interesting, novel, and amusing. I hope to help them preserve that outlook and hold onto mine, whatever is left of it, as long as I can.

Days of Innocence

who are you,little i

(five or six years old)

peering from some high

window; at the gold

of november sunset

(and feeling: that if day

has to become night

this is a beautiful way)

– E. E. Cummings

Posted in Personal growth

When you don’t feel creative

Creativity is everywhere. Almost everything we do has an element of creativity within it. I used to think creativity was limited only fine arts, literature, music, and the like. But my idea of it has broadened. Everyone is creative and has potential to unearth something beautiful and useful from it.

Spending most of my days with 2 small kids shows me how kids can take anything and make it part of their imaginary play. Ninjas have become the new craze at our house. Before they got any Lego Ninjago figures, thank you Secret Santa from Bible study, crayola markers turned into ninjas fighting each other and dinosaurs escaping in a pink Lego car. I don’t get it. What’s so fun about plain old markers? It makes me wonder how this kind of play could be so engaging. They’re not trying to be creative; it’s fun and silly to them.

An important part of creativity is believing that you are and letting go of expectations that it needs to look or be a certain way. The word itself “create” gives me heart palpitations. This self-sabotaging mindset makes it hard to let go, explore, tinker around with, and allow budding ideas to develop, or even see the light of day. 

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. E. E. Cummings

Once kids came into my life, I’ve become more vigilant and appreciative of creativity around me. Many friends amaze me with their creativity and it makes me aspire to learn more and do more. But this has its downfalls: it takes time away from developing what I’m good at doing or comparing myself with them. Not good.

Some pretty corals and rocks to enjoy

Creativity comes in many forms; anything can become a creative act when we make it our own and we do it our own way. 

Here is an ongoing list of the spectrum of creativity surrounding me through acquaintances, friends, family, and neighbors: researching, teaching, leading, writing, drawing, dancing, baking, crafting, coaching, decoupaging, gardening, coaching, running, photographing, encouraging, serving, caring, farming (for my folks), coordinating, organizing, problem solving, knitting, water color painting, etc.

Whew, I started the list and it keeps going. I can relate to only a couple of them. So instead of wishing that I could do what they do, I’m learning to appreciate, be impressed with, and to celebrate their creativity. It’s not always about me; difficult for an only child to learn even as a middle-aged person.

Things I’ve learned in my frustration to get creativity flowing:

  • Follow your curiosity.
  • Play. Fiddle around with materials, ideas.
  • Be patient with the process.
  • I’ve learned that taking nap help with this process. The brain needs time to put it all together.
  • Accept mistakes.
  • Don’t shy away from exploring new ideas. It’s not time wasted but time invested.
  • Have snacks and drinks nearby to keep the nervous energy at bay. Walking to the kitchen can break the momentum and lead to other distractions.
  • Learn from other people’s work. 
  • Share your creativity with others. It will bring joy to everyone involved. 
  • Pray. Pray for a quiet mind and heart. God is the maker of the universe and all its wonderful creations, including humans. He knows what’s up and I believe He can make creativity blossom in my life, as well as yours. 


“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  Colossions 3:23-24