Tuesday, May 20, 2008


As summer is heating up here in South Florida, and the school year is coming to an end, I am feeling an urge to lay back a little and simply stare at the passing clouds. I was stopped today at the direction of a crossing guard, and I gleefully watched the sea of children that passed before my car. Such a variety of sizes, colors, ethnicity's- all totally engaged in the journey of heading home. Not in the destination, no. They were laughing, chasing, teasing, tugging, running, calling out as if their utilization of the current moment was all that mattered in the entire world. What brilliant little teachers! I found myself so mesmerized in watching them that I barely saw the guard waving me on to where I was headed. My destination seemed much less important after watching my little gurus. I was tempted to pull over and park, and perhaps skip along behind them. At the very least, I was drawn to the attitude of abandon that they were so joyously displaying.

As much as I always loved school, I LOVED the feeling of summer vacation equally as much. The feeling of freedom, of lack of structure was so very appealing. It still is at times. I am by nature a fairly disciplined person, and I also love times of total non-doing and playfulness. I think all humans, children and adults, need those times of "no-time." Of kicking back, and really letting go. Of sitting and staring, or laughing and dancing. Often times, adults lose the art of playfulness. The role of being grown up and responsible, while certainly appropriate in many instances, can be a burdensome task if we don't take regular time outs. Even spirituality can be approached with a heaviness that makes it another "to do" on an already crowded to do list.

Particularly in the north, the approaching Memorial Day weekend is the entrance into summer vacation time. It begins, as the song says, those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer." Perhaps we could all take a cue from my little school age friends and invite some added playtime in the coming days and weeks. Perhaps we could allow playtime to be a non-negotiable. Perhaps we could really, beyond cliche, enjoy the journey through this miracle of life without focusing on a set destination. There are truly wonders all around us, but they require a sense of inner-wonder to notice what is about.

Stare at the clouds. Dance under the stars. Race a squirrel up a tree. Laugh loudly and love outrageously. For no reason other than that you can. After all- summer is almost here.