homestead happenings: play
It recently occurred to me that it has been weeks since a Christmas carol rolled absentmindedly off my tongue; 2 weekends ago we burned our solstice garland at Col’s birthday party; and, there are 34 more minutes of daylight since winter solstice.
Which is to say there’s a small shift occurring that smells faintly of the memory of grass. It’s like homeopathic medicine, how that expanding sunlight contains the imprint of spinach leaves and wild irises, even if the outside world currently looks like this.
We’ve been getting slammed with snow, well okay, maybe only 8 inches, but I’m a notorious snowfall exaggerator.
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We’ve all become sort of pleasantly agoraphobic, passing entire days at home, inside. By 3pm I feel like I’ve been watching the day-long rehearsal of the new hip Indie film – you know the one that has 2 actors who perform 30 acts in 17 minute segments and you don’t really understand anything but you appreciate the passion of the artists.
Rose: Let’s say I was your puppy.
Col: Yeah, and you wanted to go to the museum (pronounced mu-sem). But then I say: puppy, you aren’t allowed in the museum!
Rose: You don’t say that to your puppy! Puppies can’t hear that.
Col: Sorry puppy. But you can’t go inside.
Rose: Ruff ruff. That means: okay.
Then there’s a scene change and Rose is now the director of the museum, clickity clacking across the tile floor, headachingly, in her tap shoes singing, “I can do anything you want in a jiffy!”
this picture sums up a lot
17 minutes later Col is in his room snapping legos together and Rose is settled on the couch reading Wizard of Oz, her particular version peppered with copious verbs and adverbs, exactly what I warn my writing students against: “And then she said sweetly, why don’t you come with us to Kansas City to get a brain? It was so sparkly bright that he jumped up excitedly and said, let’s go!”
And then, apropos of nothing, Col comes out of his room wondering about circuses. “Because,” he starts, “when are we ever going to see a circus?”
Me: Maybe this summer. Daddy and I saw one at the fairgrounds before you were born. They brought in a big circus tent and we sat in the bleachers, and…”
Rose: (sarcastically) Oh right, and then they just suck your blood.
Me: Suck your blood?
Rose: Right. The bleachers.
Me: You mean leeches?
Rose: Oh yeah.
Today the kids played 26 rounds of crazy 8’s; the new style is to put all your cards face up and boast wildly about how many crazy 8’s you have.
The kids did a 5 minute play with their snake and mouse puppets, consisting entirely of the sounds “eek eek” and “sssssssss.” It’s riveting; I have the video if anyone wants to watch it.
I am loving all this playing, so passionate and silly and unselfconscious and agenda-less. It’s like the secret handshake of childhood, the ability to blink away the world we adults live in and tumble into the realm of pirates and fairies and puppies.
I was at the pool with Col and Rose recently, where scores of kids were ecstatically shrieking and splashing, chasing each other and doing multiple underwater somersaults in a row. The building was humming. And I thought, holy shit, if you could bottle this energy and exuberance, perhaps you could replace viagra, ambien, prozac, laxatives, appetite suppressants and digestive aids. Not to mention harness clean, renewable energy?
Can someone get on that?
Rose likes to keep tabs on me while I do chicken chores.
I am loving all your responses to this post. Connection, simplicity, align, lightness, go!, action, rise, release, inter-personal, whole…so beautiful. Someone e-mailed me, remarking on how, for her, trust feels out of reach. And just like Rose learning to hula hoop, trusting takes practice. At first, you may only notice how quickly your mind fills with worry, about things that are out of your control, or not even real, fabricated from the energy you give it. But maybe in an indecisive or sorrowful or clenched-jaw moment, you’ll remember your word and whisper it gently to yourself. I do believe this is powerful.
And stay away from those blood-sucking bleachers,