Summer time is the perfect time for daydreaming. Today I would love for us to consider our playful children. Not the ones that might be running around in your house or playing in the neighborhood outside, but the playful child who lives inside you. Yes, you...& me!
What follows is a simple meditation. If you would like to take part (and I sincerely hope you will), I suggest you gather some crayons, colored pencils or markers and a large sheet of plain paper to have by your side. Then consider this:
When you think of being a playful child, what comes to mind? Particular tastes, touch, smell? Popsicles on a hot summer day. The soft furr of a tiny kitten. The scratchy tongue of a puppy on your hand. Maybe it is the smell of popcorn and the anticipation of The Wonderful World of Disney or Howdy Doody or Sesame Street.
Are you inside or outside? Can you feel the grass beneath your feet? The splash of water on your toes? Perhaps you are curled up next to your mom or dad. Can you smell cookies baking in the oven or feel the excitement of your first day of school?
What things do you look forward to? A trip to the beach. A new book. Playing a game with friends. Hopscotch or jacks. Skipping rope or riding your bike and feeling the wind in your hair. Skiing in the fresh snow, building a snowman or the freedom of skimming across new ice on skates.
Where do you feel the most alive and content? Can you see it? Smell it? Touch it? Taste it? What does it sound like? Church bells. Peels of laughter. A gentle voice reading you a story or the magnificent silence as you gaze at the night’s brilliant stars. Can you sense the joy of finding the big dipper or the north star?
Does your playful child like small cozy spaces? Covers thrown over the table to make a tent? Snuggling in bed with a flashlight and a Nancy Drew book? Perhaps you prefer the great outdoors. The expanse of the beach or a mountain trail while sitting atop your daddy’s shoulders. Sharing the great wildness with your heavenly Father. The Grand Canyon. Miles of desert or forest or ocean or running free through endless fields of wheat or corn.
Maybe this is an actual experience or maybe it’s only that special place in your dreams. When you close your eyes and feel the senses of freedom and childhood, what comes to mind? Consider the playful child. What does she/he look like? Does playful have a taste? A smell? Use all your senses. Can you hear it? Do your fingers reach for something to touch and hold? Let your imagination flow. Be in that place where anything is possible. No fear. Only love surrounds you. Taste it. Touch it. Smell it. Feel it. See it. Know it.
And now, holding all that you have just experienced, I encourage you to use your non-dominant hand and DRAW it. Don’t think about it. Tell the inner critique you're not listening today. Just pick up a crayon and draw. What colors are this image? Let them flow onto the paper. Hold that space and be the child who knows only freedom and safety and love. Let that child and her experience flow out onto the paper. After all, she/he deserves a chance to come out and play, don't ya think?
(and then, of course, let me know what you discovered! Happy dreaming!!! ☺)
playful child ksh, age 4
lucy's drawing 8/13/09 (no need to worry about your own results. isn't mine beautiful?!?!?)