I loved this broadcast, particularly as it comes at a time in my life when I am "discovering" play in a new way. I thought I'd share a blog post I wrote on the topic just last month:
Monday, June 23, 2008The Chapter in Which Kate Learns to PlaySometimes I really do think I preach mostly to myself. I mean I do hope that what I say also is helpful to others (it's not all about me after all) but the words God gives me to say are so pointedly what I also need to hear that it's kind of hard not to take it in a directed sort of way and listen up.
For example, all this anti-anxiety stuff that I have had the privilege of spending time on lately. It's pretty hard to do two whole sermons on the idea that the God of the universe is attending to lilies and sparrows and the hairs of my head, and not get the notion that perhaps there's something here I need to attend to also. And since it comes at this time of great change and transition and, yes, no small amount of potential anxiety in my life, it is shall we say, interesting.
The thing of it is, it seems to be working. Perhaps the preacher is heeding her own message! Overall I am not feeling anxious about the future. Or even very much about the present. Or there is the niggling fear now and again about this "what are people thinking" about the whole break-up thing, and "what next for me" and all such as that. But for the most part, the former is a real non-issue, except for those who think my dating life (the one that exists only in fantasy, dear reader) is a topic of interest, and the later seems to not be getting my juices flowing these days. I'm getting my house in order in all sorts of ways and that feels ever so good. But there is something even more important that is happening. Something that crystallized for me just yesterday when my friend Sarah and I were on my second ever geocaching trip. I am playing!
This is a rather big deal. Play, being playful, has not ever been easy for me, even as a kid. I was born a forty year old. Solemn, introspective, quiet by nature, and nurtured by older and tired parents, who would just as soon I sat and read as did anything that might make a mess, I never really got the hang of playing in any kind of active way. Playing, if it went on, was a solitary thing that usually went on in my head, or at most on a walk or a bike ride on a quiet side street in our middling size town. A good day of play would be a trip to the library for new books or getting a new set of paper dolls. I did not, I think, play well with others. Part of what shaped this was definitely my mother. After being raised with four brothers and having two boys before me, my mom was so pleased to finally have a little girl, she was determined that I be raised like one. A significant part of that was for me to remain neat and tidy at all times. So my staying away from all opportunities for acquiring dirt was important. She also was quite afraid of anything that crawled or bit or stung and thought that they should have no opportunity to have at me either. Those two things alone leave out a lot. Add that to the fact that the only kids on my block when I was growing up were little boys, with whom you'd better believe this little princess was not associating, and there you are!
So you will now understand how much this all means when I tell you that yesterday I was not afraid when I climbed in the deep weedy ditch (so deep I could not see the bottom...there might have been snakes! That I climbed a tree, well not all the way up in it, but hey, I am middle-aged! That I....drum-roll please...stuck my hand in a rotted tree and rooted around in it to try to find the geocache. Heaven only knows what manner of thing might have been in there....and truth be told was...eeewww....but I lived! Scratched and scraped and dirty as all get out. Note to self: wear the long pants next time! But tired, happy and triumphant. We found the cache. That was awesome. I was ready to hang that up before we did. S was not, however! And it was very cool to find it. But it was not the prize for me but the quest, at least this time. And the realization at some point that it was an absolutely beautiful Sunday afternoon and my friend and I and our doggies were out in a ditch doing something messy and dirty that had the potential to get us scratched and scraped or worse (as Sarah had just sort of tumbled off the tree at that point and was laughing herself silly) that had absolutely no redeeming social value. In short, I was playing. And it felt wonderful!
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