The daughter was giving me Tea.
‘Tea’ I was enlightened earlier, is not the beverage that I love, but interesting events of note in her life. The child told me about her new teachers, the classes, the people around her – the ones who were mean, and the ones who weren’t, something about Discord, and something else about friends with their heart strung in different directions.
“How long since school reopened?” I asked bemused at this barrage of interesting information.
She gave me a sheepish smile, “Well… Mother. Would you like to hear this or not?”
I nodded and she rattled on about the joys of companionship.
The son patiently listened to all of her tales with an intent and bemused expression on his face.
“What about you my dear? How have your days been going?” I said turning to him.
Thankfully, elementary school children are still spacemen and super-heroes. The throes of the heart have not yet occupied their minds. In his stentorian voice, he regaled us with a tale of a newly invented game that others had been willing to play along with. Time-tastic Adventures.
Apparently, the den was tasked with picking a date in the past or the future, and then, they all play and enact games during this period. Medieval times, times in the future, making their way to the stars, or the fields for strawberry picking, it was all done together.
“Such an interesting game! Did you come up with it?” I asked
He looked shy and proud at the same time. “Yes! Did you guess because it was all about time?”
What about you ma! What’s your highlight for today?
I told them about the antics of a particularly adventurous little squirrel that hot summer’s day when I had gone out on an errand. All the world preferred to shelter in the trees, or stay indoors, but this one was practicing for a hurdle race. He or she ran gaining speed, and elegantly leaped over the mounds on the fence. Not once, not twice but at least for 100 meters. The Olympic committee was probably cooling off in the summer heat, but I was there – I pulled the car over and watched the little creature leap joyously.
That evening, I opened this beautiful book, We all play = kimêtawânaw By Julie Flett
In simple language and beautiful pastel colored pages, the joy of play and companionship is etched.
I smiled my way through the book, and as I closed my eyes to sleep, I thought of the little squirrel jumping over the hurdles in the heat.
The little squirrel somehow embodied the spirit of choosing joy in the pursuit of happiness on that hot day.
Often times when out on a walk I would stop to enjoy the different creatures playing outside. The ducks splashing together, the squirrels chasing each other up and down trees and running across one’s path, the co-ordinated flying of the geese, and the deer bursting into what looks like spontaneous sprints. The urge to skip and pirouette in the sunset often overwhelms me. When I think there aren’t too many people about, I give in – feeling thrilled and somewhat sheepish at the same time, for adulthood frowns on these displays of spontaneity. But, like the children say, “People know you are the official kook of the house, so you’re okay ma!”
Well, kimêtawânaw – we all play!