This abandoned beach ball emblazoned with “surf’s up” and wedged against the fence caught my eye this afternoon.
And my mind wandered to a slice I read yesterday written by Charlene Doland over at Reflections, Ruminations, and Renderings where Charlene talked about the value of pruning in the garden…and the need for it in her life.
I’ve also been watching my students play at recess time. There is an urgency and energy that is palpable. They verbally plan their play from the moment they realize it’s recess time, anticipating the interactions to come. And they are flexible. If some other play looks better, the plan is changed and they run headlong into the new activity.
I think we adults need to pay attention and learn from children at play. Full immersion in pure joy should be a daily priority. When was the last time you reveled in activity just for the fun of it?
I had one of those moments when I was in Yosemite a couple of weeks ago. I had a snow moment. (Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows I am SoCal through and through and can count the times I’ve spent in the snow in my lifetime on my fingers and toes.) It was snowing. Not flurries and not a blizzard–just a steady fall of soft, fluffy snowflakes that piled up on my shoulders, on my hat, in the hood that hung down from my collar. It transformed an already gorgeous scene into a magical winter wonderland. I caught flakes on my tongue, crunched them under my boots, held them on my gloved palm, and viewed them as precious jewels bestowed by nature.
Clearly I need to find more of these moments–moments of play and pure joy. How do we make space and create conditions for play? How do we “prune” back all the “ought tos” and “shoulds” to make room for unstructured exploration–without a goal attached? Maybe awareness is the first step…
Thank you for making me more aware of the need for unstructured exploration and play. I love that your blog was inspired by the writing of other slicers, and your photo of the beach ball hooked me from the beginning. Those nagging “ought to” and “should haves” rob us of so much. I’ll be pondering the theory you outline so well in this blog for the rest of the week.
I think the first step is noticing those moments for sure! And then intentionally creating them. I have often wondered where my sense of play went … I try to make time for it but it’s hard! Thank you for sharing this slice, and wondering!
Definitely, play is something we need to seek out, and often do not! Amidst my pruning, I am working to replace “shoulds” and “oughttos” with play.
I loved seeing you in the snow in your Yosemite pictures and now I enjoy the photos even more knowing how that visit has resonated with you. “Exploration–without a goal attached” is a key ingredient in fostering this type of play/joy/discovery. I love how you wove together the beach ball, another writer’s slice, and your Yosemite experience into a reflective piece. Well done!