When I woke yesterday and started to think about what the Artful Elf might do, I soon settled on the idea of the tree rings of your life. It is an exercise in reviewing your life and the significant events of each year. This is something I have done many times over the years in various ways but never as rings of a tree. Doing a timeline or a river to represent my life is not much different.
As I consider trees though I always think the ones that have suffered damage or are less than symmetrical are more attractive than the seemingly ‘perfect’ ones. This is a good way to view people too. Life leaves its mark on us. Suffering and trauma, if left unattended or buried can leave us bitter and ‘twisted’ or less than lovely – but not always. There are some lovely people who have buried trauma, not ‘dealt’ with it nor had it healed who live their lives quite happily. However, suffering and trauma that is healed and ‘worked through’ can leave us with more empathy for others and with a beauty from within, even if the physical appearance is less than what society deems beautiful.
It was a shame I couldn’t write over the top of the colouring. I had used oil pastels and they are not a good surface to write on. I even had problems going over the top with the black oil pastel to define the lines. But on reflection, one year of life often melts into another. Each of the rings here is a 5 year period. I am too old to try and do a ring for each year, which is what the exercise calls for.
Here’s the outline should you wish to use it. I remember that in the introductory video I said I would provide a colouring in sheet each time. But I would recommend that you draw your own.
In my Artful Elf video I give an over view of each 5 year period of my life and the significant events as I colour the rings.