Saturday, May 18, 2013

Play


My sister and brother-in-law playing in the yard
Joel, a family friend, and my grandfather playing Wisemen at Christmas




 "The child is in me still and sometimes not so still." -Fred Rogers
 














 "Life must be lived as play"-Plato









Me with my girls playing in the mountians







"Whoever wants to understand much must play much"- Gottfried Benn













Joel, my sister and me playing dress-up in a parade





"Surely all of God's people...like to play" -John Muir



Me with a friend leaping into our very cold pond






 "In every real man, a child is hidden and wants to play." Friedrich Nietzsche










My 88 yr old grandmother preparing to slide in a bouncy house




"It is a happy talent to know how to play." -Ralph Waldo Emerson














Joel and our friend who surprised us by coming back in town dressed as Elmo




"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing." -George Bernard Shaw
Joel and a friend playing on the Parkway
















"Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or loose the healing capacity for humor"-Stuart Brown
My grandfather playing dress up with me (he is 87)
  





 I have three living grandparents. All three are very close to me and all three drink hearty gulps of life with all the deep, breathy vigor of a child. 

Each grandparent of mine values and embraces the powerful gift of play.

Play is what I consider to be a conductor of growth and transformation.




The men folk at family Christmas doing a little dance
 Play has the power to release, teach, affirm, create and connect people. It is through our child-like play that we probably have become the people we are today. I am certain that the most joyful moments of your life are somehow woven into an experience of play no matter how old you were. 

I consider play a spiritual discipline. Giving yourself the permission to play is actually an act of showing yourself love. Playing honors the divine. 

If you read scripture, it becomes clear that the story of who God is describes a being that loves pleasure. It is written that this being made us in its very own image. This suggests to me that part of our very purpose and calling in this world is to enjoy the blessing of being part of it.




My grandmother dancing in the living room
My life is full like yours. There are jobs to do, duties to fulfill, people who need care, meals to be cooked, plans to be made...

However, if you are blessed with the opportunity to look back at your existence and reflect on it as my grandparents do, think about the moments that brought you the most joy. 

Where were you connected to the life force? Who were you with? What were you doing? My guess is that you were probably laughing. Maybe you were dancing. Perhaps you were in costume. I wonder if you will remember the duties with fondness and honor? 

I can only speak for myself by saying very certainly that I will remember the times that I played and played well. Recreation is God's gift of the continual re-creation of joy. It is here that I believe we tango with the Divine and entwine in a way of living that is truly holy.

Wanna play? I believe that you do.