August 2, 2020: Child’s Play
Our beloved granddaughters Maya and Zoe are here visiting us. At eight and eleven, they have reminded me once again of the joy and laughter found in play. We love to watch the sunsets here, but this week was the first time I observed one while in the lake……as a mermaid. We have built fairy houses, hiked trails, played board games, created art, drew in nature journals, and giggled over silly stories. I have laughed more this week than in the previous months, where worries of the world took center stage and the exuberance for life subdued.
There is for many a poverty of play.D.W. Winnicott-British pediatrician: 1896–1971
For the past 9 years, summers were incredibly busy, filled with preparations and participation in arts festivals and crafts shows. Although we moved up each July to a beautiful lake in northern Maine, we didn’t really take much time to enjoy it. The pandemic of 2020 has changed everything. It’s been a disappointment to have so many of our shows cancelled, but we’ve gained some valuable insights; one of which is the importance and value of play.
Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.Diane Ackerman-Contemporary American author
While we continue to design jewelry and work , the opening of our calendars has given us time to play. The concept of play implies a sense of freedom, focusing on the means, instead of being rigidly confined by concrete results. Camera and nature guides in hand, we’ve been out each day exploring the wonder of this wild place and have taken time to savor the gifts of natural world that surround us. I have time now to read books on my wishlist and “play” with my watercolors, enjoying the process of discovery.
Playing, whether outdoors or inside the studio, shifts attention from worry about the outcome and future, to a centering focus on the present moment. The power of play is undeniable. I’ve discovered that giving myself permission to play (without guilt) has yielded higher energy levels, more positivity and a renewed flow of creativity which is branching out to encompass other interests I’ve never had the time for before.
As I was finishing this blog, eight year old Zoe came in and said, “Nonny, the lake is flat and the loons are waiting.” Time to go play! I will leave you now with some quotes to invite the child in you out to play as well.
It is a happy talent to know how to play.Ralph Waldo Emerson-American writer: 1803–1882
We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream.Robert Coles-Contemporary American child psychologist
“Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.”Stuart Brown-Medical Doctor
If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.
Jean Piaget-Swiss philosopher-1896–1980
Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.Henri Matisse:French painter: 1869–1954
It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.D.W. Winnicott-British pediatrician: 1896–1971
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.Kahlil Gibran
Thank you again for reading our blog. If you have thoughts or additional quotes to share we would love to hear them. And please feel free to share this with others who might find it meaningful.