What is the most memorable piece of artwork your child has ever brought home from elementary school? Is it a drawing, a sculpture, a painting, or maybe a poem? Whatever it may be, did it take the position of honor on the refrigerator in your home? Did you put it on the mantle or put it in a frame and hang it on a wall? Late last school year, I was fortunate to have my then third grade son bring home a drawing that has become one of his most memorable to me.
I was taking my third grade son’s homework folder out of his backpack and saw a black piece of construction paper peaking out of the top of it. I opened the folder and inside it was the black paper folded in half. I took it out of his folder and unfolded it. What I saw put a smile on my face. He had drawn an expressively colorful, free flowing tree on the black piece of paper. Fortunately, it had not been folded and mangled in various different directions as seems to happen to many of the papers in his back pack. The drawing was only folded once down the middle. I immediately put the drawing aside and in a safe place so it wouldn’t get shuffled around with all the other papers he brings home.
I asked him about the drawing and he told me the tree that he had drawn was his version of the Tree of Life. Of course. Could there be any doubt that this was the Tree of Life? There was life drawn, colored and designed all over that black piece of paper. It breathes a kind of life and creativity that it seems only children can capture within their artwork and is a blessing to me as it reminds me of the preciousness and joy of life contained within the beauty of creation. This drawing on black construction paper turned into a gift that I will treasure always.
I need to go find a frame. I’m hanging this picture in my office!