The Joy of Creating

Eleven kids are on the sidewalk in front of our house. No, it’s not a party. It’s chalk. My sister gave our kids some chalk and within a few minutes, it looked like half the neighborhood had gathered. Children I have never seen are on their knees, engaged in creative activity.

I walk down the sidewalk and see a pink snake and a yellow elephant. I see a chalk boy and girl side by side. Hearts and stars and flowers – common sidewalk chalk staples – cover the pavement. I hear the children comparing artwork as they are fully focused on the joy of creating something that is all their own.

The pictures will fade, or get washed away when the sprinklers come on tonight. But right now they stand as colorful symbols of the enduring and unique expressions of art.

School has just started for my two older kids and their cousin. My sister and I are taking turns teaching the two youngest kids, Aiden and Keira, kindergarten. At this time of year, kids’ days are primarily filled with addition and subtraction, parts of speech and dates of history. Being a more studious type of person, I think my focus for the kids also tends to fall more along the lines of “finish your homework” than “let’s do something creative.”

But we were designed to be creative, and often a child’s mind is so much more tuned into that side of things than our “big-people minds,” which are often too stuffed with to-do’s and shopping lists and email replies and bills to pay.

Watching them now, fully occupied with something as simple as chalk, makes me want to spend more time with my kids on their level, creating works of art, stimulating the mind, inspiring the spirit … and just having fun – with crayons and chalk, with colors and words, with paints and poetry.

Please pass the chalk.


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on August 28, 2013, in Life Lessons, Paying attention, Perception, School Days and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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