Food for the Soul

November finds me prepared with pencils.

backstory: You might have seen the image above, I’m reposting it, nonetheless. Because November is a time I reach for storage boxes of my old artwork and hobbies to nourish my soul. Revisiting creative hobbies I do only for my eyes is the beauty of the November month; a space for me for to fly or fail with no pressure.

p.s. The illustration is from Enchanted Forest, an adult colouring book by Johanna Basford. I’m also responding to a prompt at Poets and Storytellers United.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. i like the use of the colours in the drawing, very subtle, but the various shades showing through. This is an interesting bird, hoarding all kinds of eggs, and even a house key. 🙂

  2. “to fly or fail with no pressure” That’s how I feel about my well used boxes of pastels…I love the saturated colors and the ability to scrub them onto the paper or daintily brush over sheets of paper or mix with my fingertips…I can’t draw worth a darn, but I do enjoy sweeping the paper with swaths of color with my pastels!
    Your bird is telling a story no doubt…many clues in your piece to decipher!

  3. Oh nice that you are “prepared”
    Happy you dropped by my blog.


  4. Thank you, dsnake. I wrote a post in the past about what the “bird with a key” meant or symbolized. At the time, it was about opening closed doors. But the meaning keeps changing, depending on where I am mentally. In the end, it’s open to interpretation. 🙂

  5. You are right Rosemary, it’s a hobby that can be enjoyed any time. It just so happen that November here is too gloomy and outdoor activities don’t entice me much. So, instead I opt to play indoors. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  6. Same here Laura, I can’t draw to save my life. 😀 But painting abstracts or sweeping the paper with swaths of color as you nicely put it is enough and another way of calming my mind, more especially when I don’t feel like writing nor reading. The story about the bird “The Key Keeper” as I call it, is open to interpretation.

    As I mentioned, in another comment here, the meaning keeps changing. A previous post I wrote about the bird was to do with my word, self-belief, in 2018. If interested you can read about that on this link,

    Thank you always for reading, Laura. I hope you’re having a wonderful November, with your creative pursuits. <3

  7. How beautiful, Khaya. I’m feeling the urge to pick up a coloring book and box of pencils. What a beautiful and relaxing way to spend some creative time. <3

  8. Pencils and coloring books are excellent companions for any month, but even better when the weather is changing for the cooler. Love your coloring. I hope you are having fun going through boxes.

  9. Nothing is lost if we keep revisiting it. I love your practice! And I’m going to start doing something similar myself. Thanks for the magical idea!

  10. I had different plans for November but I abandoned them, just didn’t have the energy. So, I completely agree, this is a wonderful time of the year to slow down. Thank you Lori for the visit.

  11. Yeah! Here’s to the opportunity of ‘ for to fly or fail with no pressure’! November brings that precious quiet where one can spend time on hobbies, other interests, without guilt of should be doing something else. I’ve been busy sorting out old boxes in the loft – throwing away mounds of university work, perusing old photos and putting them safely back for storage! Found my first writing magazine submission aged 12 – bless! Happy Colouring and love this one here. I have a couple of Johanna Basford’s books in Sweden which I look forward to returning to when we finally make it back there – hopefully next Spring!

  12. Oh, how sweet, Annika! Your first writing magazine submission aged 12. See where that talented writer is now! This is really heartwarming.

    Yes November offers the opportunity for sorting out old boxes and throwing away stuff; that university work can take lots of space. But old photos are a precious find. Don’t you just feel much lighter after all that sorting! 🙂

    Basford’s books are a joy. I actually wonder if I heard of her colouring books from you, or is just that we have some hobbies in common. Here’s hoping you get to travel to Sweden, next spring. I’m also living in hope of travelling somewhere, anywhere, next year. Will this pandemic ever relents! Remains to be seen.

Do leave a trace!