Yes … she knew the literal meaning ,appreciated it intellectually but it never seeped in really.The knowing that calls out from deep down your marrow , resonates within your every single cell…it was missing.
She remembers clearly that it was grey wintery day when it struck her like an 18 wheeler on a Freeway….the meaning of “Perspective Shift”.
She had barely made it to office on time that day , the rain had slowed the traffic to standstill .As she fumbled through her office bag for laptop , a crumpled paper fell out along with some broken crayons .It was a half filled coloring paper with some Disney cartoon on it.
”Oh no …I really need to talk to her today …How many times I have told her not to go through my office things “ , she muttered, praying that nothing was missing.
With one swipe she dumped the paper and crayons into the waste paper basket next to her desk. Clutching the appurtenances of her professional life she rushed for the morning meeting.Walking through the corridor and nodding to her colleagues , thoughts of her 3 year old daughter flashed through her mind .
The little one loved coloring ….coloring papers were everywhere , crayons strewn in every room .
It was a brilliant idea actually , to save the walls from turning into displays of modern art. Kid was actually getting better at keeping the colors within the lines ,strokes were smoother and the lions were no longer purple with yellow polka dots.
” But I need to talk to her today “ , coming to the present she reminded herself.
Like everyday ,that evening as she entered the house , her daughter rushed with open arms . But she stopped her midway.
Feigning sternness , she reprimanded the child “ How many times I have told you not to go through my office bag ? You might accidentally destroy some important papers or misplace something .Please don’t put your things inside that bag …OK !”
The child stood there , a shadow slowly creeped in matching the sky outside ,the smile was gone ,exuberance replaced with guilt . With drooped shoulders the little girl moved slowly and hugged her Mom .
She buried her face in her Mom’s shoulder and whispered “ I am sorry Mom . I just thought ….what if you want to color at the office and you have nothing to color with? ”
As the meaning of those simple innocent words sank ,the Mom’s heart sank along with it .It was she who had perhaps destroyed the most important paper of all , it was she who was perhaps misplacing the priorities here.
They stood like that for a while listening to each others breathing and the pitter patter of the rain outside .
Next day the Mom went to office little earlier that usual …praying that the janitor had not cleaned her office the night earlier .”Did she leave the cleaning tag at the office door ?” was all she could think of.
Entering the office she rummaged through the basket. The crumpled paper and the broken crayons were still there, waiting to be redeemed and redeem in return . She gently smoothened the paper and taped it on the wall next to her .
That paper stayed there for long . Even on the greyest of days ,it would bring smile to her face ,reminding her of a little girl waiting for her at home , a girl wanting to color her world.
Sometimes the colleagues would drop by for discussion and notice that ‘out of place’ crumpled coloring paper with a half colored Disney character .But nothing was asked and nothing was told . Only a knowing smile would quickly flash through their lips before they all looked down and acted busy.
They too were parents after all . Maybe they too had some broken crayons lying hidden in a corner of their desks …a safe corner …a holy corner.
Yes I remember vividly , it was a grey winter day …. just after the Thanksgiving ..the day when I understood the real meaning of “ Perspective Shift”.
Image courtesy : Kristin Brown on Unsplash