Remember when we were kids? We played in the rain, ran for no reason whatsoever, laid in the grass, and stomped in puddles. Okay, so maybe you didn’t, but I did. I don’t do those things anymore.
I dash through the rain to avoid getting wet. I run for exercise. I rarely even WALK through the grass if I’m not mowing it. I walk around puddles or jump over them. Those simple joys of childhood are things I actively avoid now.
On Sunday, while I waited for my aunt to return to her house, I pulled a blanket out of the car and laid in the grass on her front lawn. I was in the shade of a tall water oak, enjoying the feel of a slight breeze, and the muffled sounds of Sunday car washes and far-off lawn mowing. When she returned home, she apologized that I’d had to wait outside. Apologize? For what? I thoroughly enjoyed it! I remembered the joy of just lying there with nothing to do for a little while.
I wasn’t pushing to go to sleep because I had to get up early. I wasn’t thinking about business calls. I wasn’t thinking about the three books I have started and need to finish. I wasn’t thinking about unpaid bills or dogs that need feeding or cats that need a new scratching post. I wasn’t thinking about the bajillion things that hold my attention (and sometimes my joy) hostage each day. I gave myself permission to just lie there for a bit and be in that moment. I allowed myself to just Be….and it was fantastic!
As an adult, I’m easily caught up in all of the things I HAVE to do and I forget about the things that I GET to do. Lying in the grass, tuning out is something I GET to do – not every day, but certainly with greater frequency than I actually do it.
I am alive. I am healthy. I am loved. It is pure foolishness for me to squander all opportunities to celebrate those things.
I’ll tell you what, let’s do this: let’s do something childish this week. Run for no reason. Skip. Eat a soft-serve ice cream cone. Stomp in a puddle. Let a ladybug walk on your hand. Walk in the rain. Let’s do something that reminds us of the joy it is our privilege to feel.
Let’s give ourselves permission.