He was drawing a picture of a sunlit forest.
He drew a brown trunk.
Then a green lollypop top.
When he drew a black circle in the middle of the trunk with the word “hoo” coming out from it, I had to turn away to hide my smile.
The art teacher stood behind my six-year-old son with eyebrows raised, amusement thinly veiled.
“He likes to draw,” she said to me, with a smile.
What happened next, I cannot explain.
She knelt down beside him and gently directed his attention to the picture he was trying to recreate. She showed him how the trees deeper in the forest looked higher up on the page, and how to add horizon to ground them with the others. She showed him how the leafy foliage overlapped to create a beautiful umbrella and how to use light and shadow to create individual leaves.
“Do you see this trunk? There is brown in it, but look closer. What other colors do you see? There’s not only brown, is there?”
She moved around the table, making similar points for other students. Each time she directed attention to the image being copied.
“Look” she said, or “See”.
I was mesmerized.
She was not teaching how to draw.
She was teaching how to see.
I watched my son’s artwork come alive with shapes and colors. For that moment, he stopped seeing the world as flat…and began to see what it was really made of.
All because of a great teacher and some practice.
Sometimes we need a little help seeing.
We need a teacher to help adjust our vision.
Practice…practice seeing with His eyes.
This is what I do.
**artwork by Jeffrey Boggess at age 6.
For a lesson on seeing, visit L.L. Barkat and try her “close your eyes” challenge. Here is my offering:
The Long Ride Home
I close my eyes and I can still see
trees passing by through windows.
Dappled lights—leaf shadows–
pass over faces, like hands
dangling ribbons of sunshine.
And dusty veil rises to meet
as wheel gives wing to earthen road.
Steady thrum of engine–this lullaby–
and knees curl up
against the seat in front
as body jostles with the rocking
of this frenetic cradle.
The steady chatter
of childhood friends
a quiet song for the ride.
But this one stays
tucked down in seat–
invisible to searching eyes–
nose buried in book
the long ride home.
Into the hollow
where God’s hand has hidden
inside of dusty roads
and scattered green.
When I close my eyes
I see it all as it used to be.
But I am not there.
This lost treasure has been found.