The smell of crayons brings a wave of emotions
taking me back to a time when roller skating on the sidewalk was common
and fast food unheard of.
It could have been any type of day
when my mother would call us to the kitchen.
In the middle of the table would be a rectangular box
and at each place would be a sheet of plain manila paper.
Oh what fun it would be coloring
Making up our own designs – no coloring books.
Just plenty of room for creativity.
Small hands reaching into the crayon box
trying to find just the right color.
Glancing from time to time at another’s sheet but really focusing on our own.
Listening to the voices
enjoying my mother’s presence
and when the activity was done the old crayon box would be put away
for the next time.
Years flew by and with it the times of coloring together faded.
I never even noticed when our last time was. Sigh.
For many years I didn’t see that coloring box.
But then there was a day
when my daughter was very young and we were at Nana’s.
“ Would you like to color?” I heard in the background.
“Just wait right here…I’ll be right back.”
I watched my mom walk down the hall and return in just a few minutes
holding something in her hands.
“Here we are,” I heard her say.
Curiosity tugged and I moved to see what was happening.
There, like days long ago, I saw my daughter at the table
with a red crayon in her small hand
drawing on a piece of paper.
I swallowed the big lump in my throat
when my eyes saw the familiar old crayon box on the table.
So many hands had used the crayons over the years.
Precious hands of ones I always will hold dear in my heart.
Broken crayons, most without a paper,
but still with lots of color in them even forty some years later.
Shining moments as I begin to understand
that the memories of the heart are a treasure to cherish
and enjoy forever.
Yes, I have that old crayon box today
and I have noticed that when I lift the lid
the sweet fragrance of the past mingles with the moments of today.
God has a way of doing that, doesn’t He.
Broken crayons that still add color to my simple life today.