I just spent the last half hour colouring rainbow bubble letters on the flyer for the music class my friend and I teach. Why? Well, firstly, because our colour printer does not seem to work any more. And, secondly, because I really love to colour.
I did a double, sequential, reversing rainbow for the letters of “LET’S MAKE MUSIC”: red, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, blue, purple, blue, dark green, light green, yellow, orange, blue. It looks very pretty now.
It was not long into the colouring that I realized that this flyer was likely going to be in the garbages of all of the moms at the mom’s group by Thursday night. All those minutes spent staying in the lines, with only two days to live outside the recycle bin.
But I love to colour. So it was not a waste.
And when you think about it, most of the stuff we do and the things we buy end up in the garbage eventually. That $1.00 toy you bought your kid to make him happy while you were out shopping will hit the bin fairly quickly. But what about other things? Like (*sigh*gasp*heaven forbid*) your children’s baby books. Where will they be in a hundred years or less? (Especially if you’re like my kids and have hundreds and hundreds of pictures in half a dozen albums and you aren’t even half a dozen years old yet.)
Even the things we take great care in, the things we make specifically to last won’t last.
Does that make it all pointless? Was there any more or less value in me colouring the rainbow letters than in spending many hours and many dollars putting together my children’s memory books? That’s a bit tricky isn’t it?
All I know is that in the past few years I have learned to not be so concerned with how I spend my time, and that there is value in all sorts of things and activities. And it is precisely when you refuse to get caught up in “the value” of things, that you discover that there is meaning and value everywhere, in everything. Big, small. Permanent, fleeting.
It all has meaning. And it all has the capacity to enrich.