Play for the Fun of It – And Don’t Keep Score

Swinging at Antioch College

Jim and I were out enjoying the beautiful weather yesterday and came upon a swing that was suspended from a TALL tree. It was calling my name.

It was not one of those rubber swings that tightly wrap your bottom to the point where it hurts — the kind found in school playgrounds today so that you don’t fall out.  No, it was an old fashioned swing with a WIDE board with two holes drilled in it for the rope to go under — the kind they had when I was a kid and nobody thought about law suits.  Only this swing was better because it had a single rope coming off the limb that branched into a triangle towards the bottom.  This engineering marvel allowed you to swing in circles!  I leaned back and looked up into the branches until I started to get dizzy – which didn’t take much.  What fun!

Jim Swinging at Antioch College

I stopped so Jim could try it.   At first he said no.  But after a little encouragement, he got on.  Is that a smile I see on his face?  It was one of the highlights of our day.

Don’t Over Think Play.  Be Spontaneous

I had just finished reading the book “Travels with Epicurus” — A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life, by Daniel Klein.  In his book, the author talks about spontaneous play and how, as adults, we:

“transform pure play into competitive play — the ancient Greeks were Olympic champs at this […] We went from pointless play to keeping one eye on the scoreboard.  And our current dedication to sports as self-improvement, complete with personal trainers and strange garments made out of spandex, has virtually wiped out any lightheartedness remaining in play.  Even when taking a walk, distance and elapsed time are now often recorded, then measured against previous records as we compete with ourselves for our personal best.  Play is no longer something we do with our idle time; it is another ambitious activity crammed into our schedules”.

Boy, that sounds too familiar.  Guilty as charged.  Hence, my delight at coming upon the swing.    It’s a sign.

When was the last time you played?

…or did something spontaneous for the pure pleasure of joy?  I thought so.  Life is an Adventure.