Whether we want it to, or not.
Whether we welcome it, or not.
Whether we celebrate it, or not.
*Growing old* is different.
Growing old is more than chronology.
Growing old is about attitude and is about play.
When we stop playing,
we stop delighting in life;
we stop being hopeful;
we grow old.
While I may be chronologically aging (more quickly than I wish)
and my body may be showing its age (a bit more every day),
I refuse to grow old.
Play is my middle name
– even if it’s only a few minutes each day.
In this grieving process, some days are more difficult to include a play-filled activity
than other days.
But I make a conscious effort.
I remember one of those “more difficult days.”
There was no rational explanation.
The sadness and profound sense of loss just was there
… big time.
I could feel the waves of grief tumble and erupt.
I could feel my body experiencing the loss of my husband
in an overwhelming sense of exhaustion.
So I decided to head outdoors and take a short walk around the block.
On my little walk I encountered a little girl.
She was singing a familiar melody while she walked her dog
and I began to hum the melody.
It was my ‘play’ for the day!
It was just a few seconds.
But it was play
and I felt a hint of joy as the tears tumbled down my face
because I wanted to tell my husband about this lovely encounter.
Then as I walked back home, a smile began to form on my face
… because I did tell him. 🙂
When we play, joy begins to emerge.
Whether we are encountering a familiar melody sung by a little girl walking her dog,
(or dancing, or doodling, or engaging in board games,
or strolling along the beach, or playing bridge,
or are involved in a sport, or interacting on the internet,
or playing an instrument, or sharing a meal with a friend,
or creating anything (be that a handmade card, a tool shed, a dress, a poem,
a painting, a piece of calligraphy, a meal, a book, a piece of pottery, a magazine article,
a computer program, a piece of sculpture, a photograph, a mandala,
a garden, a scrapbook, a bookcase … whatever!),
we begin to realize that there is still life within us,
and joy has space to flower.
There is such wisdom in the words of George Bernard Shaw:
“We don’t stop playing because we’re old.
We grow old because we stop playing.”
By the way, the photo was taken several years ago
when I surprised Hans with a ride on a Zodiac boat.
He loved it!!!
That’s not exactly the word I would use to describe the zodiac-experience!
But, he was having such fun,
even when the rain started
even when the wind picked up
and even when the storm quickly arrived.
So how could I not delight in his delight?
A spirituality of play has many ways to surface! 🙂