One day, when discussing how we physically expressed joy as children, Anne felt compelled to see if she could still cartwheel. And she could. And we laughed. And in that moment of exuberance, I caught a glimpse of the child within.
I was a fan of swings and rolling down bumps, hollows and hills.
Not that many years ago a dear friend and I were tagging along, ahem – being encouraging and supportive – with our Beloveds who were playing golf at the esteemed Kauri Cliffs Golf Club. We rounded a corner and spotted the most perfectly angled downward slope, smothered with lush, soft, exquisitely manicured grass. It was simply begging to be rolled down. And there wasn’t a soul to be seen …
I don’t recall us discussing whether we were too grown up, too dressed up or even allowed to do such a thing. But in a flash, down we rolled. Over and over and over again, laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes.
Even now, just thinking about it, my heart is full, my spirit is lifted and my smile is broad. Such joy…
It’s no surprise that as we grow up we do less cartwheeling, rolling, twirling or whatever your physical manifestation of instant joy was.
The responsibilities of life and all that entails inevitably get in the way.
But I am noticing in other Ripenists, and experiencing myself, a liberating resurgence of playfulness occurring. Some of it’s deliberate (“hey, let’s go to this concert”) and do-able, perhaps because we have more disposable income or because we want to make the most of opportunities while we can.
And some of it’s simply in the moment, perhaps enabled by small people delighting in testing their boundaries with Nana!
I’ve now got a swing hanging from my favourite tree, which by its very existence encourages me to play. Funnily enough just about every woman who sees it feels compelled to sit upon it. And most spontaneously share their swing stories, always with a smile.
Whatever prompts the joy, whether you make it happen or it just spontaneously shows up, let’s allow ourselves to grasp and cherish it with all we’ve got.
How did you express joy as a child? Do you still?
Go on, share here. You know you want to!