I come to the blank paper, timid and unsure. The pencil feels awkward and unfamiliar at the end of my hand – I try to let go of my tight writer’s grip and shift my eyes up and away to the object in front of me. I breathe carefully and begin – trusting that somehow my mind and hand will find a way to recreate the tangible object of my gaze into a mostly recognizable 2 dimensional representation on the paper.

I feel vulnerable and I am tempted to hide the messy results – I am embarrassed by my halting attempts, my unsure hand. But I remind myself – this is important, every hesitant mark, every messy smudge. There is no wrong here aside from my own condemning criticism – the voice which echoes on “you are not good at drawing – this is foolish – this is a waste of time” so I try a speak out against the hurt in me – I take my little stand against my inner bully and in a tiny, new voice repeat “This is play and play is important, play is opportunity. Play is freedom. Play is growth. I am allowed to play and fail and be bad and never become great. There is no agenda here – there is only play and play is fun.” And the breathing becomes easier and I feel the thrill of joy trickle up my spine.


I had forgotten the importance of play – I find I am rusty at it. But still I gather about me all sorts of playful things – canvases, watercolour paints, tubes of acrylics, dusty bottles of inks, sketch books, crayons – I place them all over my desk top – cluttering my space. I feel the urge to plop them all back into the cupboard – tidying them away. But I leave them – I need to see them there – like little questions all about the surface – asking me to play. Remember – this is important too. Remember who you are too – remember what sparks light and life in you too. This too is important. Remember.

The pages in my sketchbook are slowly filling up – rough and lopsided, with rare moments of “success,” regardless each leaves me with little reminders of time well spent – of the sense of time between time – lost moments steeped in wonder and wide open spaces. I am slowly remembering what it feels like to play – it is serious and important – and closer to God than I have felt in a long time.

sketching collage

The current #wholemama word is Play – find more inspiration from lovely #wholemama storytellers here: