When I was a child, on rainy days my mother would dress me up in a coat and boots and send me outside to play. I loved splashing in puddles feeling the cool wetness and muddy splatterings, opening my mouth to the sky to catch a fresh drink of water (that was before acid rain, of course). Carefree, playful, magical!
When did I become more concerned with keeping my shoes dry than with enjoying a spontaneous adventure for my senses? We grow up and develop responsible attitudes for our mature jobs and families in need. It’s necessary and important to cultivate adult behavior. But, can’t we also keep alive the part of us that is mischievous and fun-loving, original and imaginative? I love when I act from that place, kicking up a pile of autumn leaves or dancing in the kitchen. I like the unknown adventure of it, the freedom of pure spontaneity, the sheer joy of discovery and playfulness.
Last week, I visited a friend in the hospital . He is only allowed to eat pureed food from the hospital. Wanting to add some levity to our visit, I turned to him and asked, “Would you like a cup of tea?” Before he and his wife (my friend) could protest, I held out my hand and offered him a pretend cup of tea. Seamlessly participating in the fantasy, he took it and sipped the pretend tea gingerly with his pinky up. “How about a scone?” I asked. He was contemplating his selection when I asked, “Blueberry or cranberry?” He couldn’t contain himself anymore and we all laughed.
Fantasy and imagination have a place in our adult lives. Levity sends out good vibes. After all, isn’t it the best of both worlds to have the experience and wisdom of an adult and the authenticity and lightness shining through a child?
Let’s meet in a puddle for a cup of tea!