This past July 4th weekend, my friend and I went to see the balloon launch here in Pawling. Much to our delight, they were giving tethered rides up into the air for free.
What a perfectly safe way to experience being in a hot air balloon without the risk of running into trees, or electrical wires, running out of fuel, or landing in an undesired location.
The line was full of parents with their children, but when my friend said she always wanted to ride in a balloon, we jumped on the end of the line without hesitation.
It was fun to be the kid again and have this playful thrill. Attached is a photo taken by Peter Cris who cleverly Photoshopped out the tethers.
Now that my children are older, I don’t find myself in these situations very often. Things that we used to take them to are no longer appropriate or appreciated by them—they’d much rather be with their friends, doing what they have chosen.
So finding playful things to do and bringing my inner child along, takes a bit of effort., Raised with a strong Protestant work ethic, my husband and I can get lost in the long to-do list of life.
I delude myself into thinking that if I just get through that list, the space will be clear to play—you know, get your work done first and THEN play. But somehow there is always a new list—the things on it change, but it doesn’t ever go away.
So now several of the things on my to-do list are ways I enjoy playing. I schedule into my day the things that lighten my heart and bring me joy.
This summer season, joy for me comes from being in or around water, swimming in the pool, sailing on the ocean, watching the birds dance after seeds at the feeder, taking in some outdoor performance, and star gazing on a clear, cool night.
When we play we change the rhythm of life from pushing forward to enjoying the here and now. We discover the joy of our body moving through space or laughter emerging from our bellies. We lighten our beings.
How about you? What brings the kid out in you in this season of sun, water and heat? How can you create the experience of being a kid in summer this season?