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Inspiration Under Our Feetby Tim McCleary on April 3, 2020
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story of #CreativityInCaptivity was originally shared by Charlottean Tim McCleary, managing director of The Involvement Practice, in his company’s e-newsletter. As the name of his business suggests, Tim’s story inspired us. We are sharing it here, unedited, with his permission.
Inspiration shows up in unexpected places. Today, I found it during my morning walk.
There’s a pathway that encircles our community –– a well-used mixture of sidewalk and asphalt that provides a place for anyone to run, walk or ride.
I’ve used it many times, but this morning I noticed something different.
As I entered the start of the asphalt trail, there was a message written in brightly colored chalk, “Welcome to rainbow path.”
Between whimsical drawings of flowers, flowing lines and positive statements, the artist’s message continued with an invitation: “Come give me a idea of what you want me to draw on the path.”
After I made a few more loops of the path, the artist made an appearance. She’s a 4th-grader from our neighborhood, named Maddy.
Sitting cross-legged with a jumbo box of sidewalk chalk within close reach, she told me, “My goal is to cover the entire path, and make people happy.”
Even though her asphalt canvas is only one-third complete, she’s already achieved one of her goals. Neighbors walking over her vibrant artwork are smiling.
What’s more, when two neighbors meet on the path they’re chatting about what they see,
creating (safe distance) connections within the community. Through this shared experience, I’ve met neighbors I have never met before –– even after five years of living in this community.
Maddy is doing something really special, in her own creative way. Feeling a sense of connection is important right now, as we comply with the need for social distancing.
This worldwide challenge is a time for each of us to be creative and find new ways to connect as we work together to move beyond it.
By the way, I responded to Maddy’s request to give her “a idea.” I asked her to draw a dog. A brightly colored canine can now be seen on Rainbow Path.
Thanks for being involved today,