Updated: Jan 10
is what spiritual writer Margaret Gunther says we need more of! Times when we
are not trying to produce anything, or achieve, not problem-solving or planning. But
we are simply creating space in the midst of a day or an hour or a month. It might be something like play -- or just sitting and watching the world go by. Or just a time of taking things lightly.
I myself can hardly cope with the task of NOT-doing, not achieving, goofing off,
wasting time. It is uncomfortable to see HOW much I desire “getting there”,
accomplishing, demonstrating my worthiness and productivity. And, by golly, I
want everybody else to have their nose to the grindstone too!
UU minister, Sandra Fees asks us “How much are you playing? Are you bringing a
playful spirit to your life? “ “Deep play” she writes, “invites us to give up control,
give up certainty, and give up our preconceived ideas and rules. “ Oh my… no
wonder I find it so hard!
Playing has no exterior purpose. It exists for it’s own sake. Watch dogs or children
in a park when the adults aren’t organizing them. They become silly, run just to run,
leap, fall down, dig in the dirt. I have had to learn over and over with my own
grandchildren that they are most interested in figuring out their own games, and
make believe activities. I often arrive with a list of “things we can do” – and they
often smile politely and say something to the effect of “maybe later”, right now let’s
What could it hurt if we, too, became more playful in our jobs, with our partner, in
the Boardroom, at school, in the kitchen? Let’s give it a try! I’d love to hear how and
when and where you play this week! Maybe we can all take a lesson from my Granddaughter...
I am walking with my Granddaughter
who has discovered a weed
with seedpods that burst
with the slightest touch.
“Watch!” she calls to me.
She is fascinated to search
for the little hidden pods
and responds with glee each time
she finds one.
I am looking at my watch.
Seeds burst forth.
Sun catches the edges of Autumn leaves.
A caterpillar crosses the sidewalk.
Green trees turn to gold.
My Granddaughter is filled with amazement.
And I am looking at my watch.