Life at the Center: Untethered   Vol. 51, October 2017

I lost touch with my inner 7-year-old for many years. Meanwhile the adult me took charge of my everyday life. Then about a decade ago, Nia taught me how to play again with physical abandon, reconnecting me with my 4, 5, 6-year-old self. Fun, but not mindful.

Now, seven-year-olds are different beings than their younger editions. By seven, we are both spontaneous and wise, thoughtful and nonchalantly carefree. Our playfulness is infused by an intelligent self-awareness.

A few months ago, I found my adult sense of personal responsibility running on overdrive, driven by lengthy to-do lists I could never complete. I felt ragged at the edges. Enough! I told myself, you are not allowed to work this Saturday. Not one iota. Go do something fun!

My adult self, bewildered, wondered, What I am I going to do with myself?

Wing it, I replied.

So against my work self’s objections, I left my calendar completely open for that Saturday. No plans, no appointments. I called out to my long-lost inner 7 year old: Hey there! Let’s make a play date!

She was a little shy. Really? she asked….Are you sure you have time for me?

Yes, I’m letting you run the whole day! I replied.

OK! I’ll meet you Saturday! she happily answered.

My 7 year old is a dawn riser, so we started the day early. She loves to read to her heart’s content, so after an early breakfast, we stretched out and read a good book about horse training… all the way to the end! My 61 year old self is lucky to get in a page and a half before conking out for the night. How luxurious reading a whole book felt!

By 11 am she was already hungry and felt no compunction to wait until noon to eat, so she threw together a great lunch, lingering over some favorite pages of the book as we ate. She was so enthusiastic and curious, she called a pal for an earnest chat about how to listen to horses. And that was enough being still for one day.

Next we headed out to the garden with one of our best friends to scoop scum out of the fish pond, dig in the dirt and feed her earthworm pets.

As a belated May Day celebration, we collected armsful of bright flowers and leaves from the yard. She invited another friend to join the fun, and we all laughed and made beautiful flower arrangements until the house was overflowing with bright floral cheer, and it grew dark outside.

It was a glorious day.

PS. Wanna come play with me? I will be home ready to romp Sunday through Tuesday, Oct 8-10. My grownup self has been off-island quite a bit lately dealing with some family matters. It’s about time for another playdate and you can join me at any Nia class!

And you, dear reader?

I wonder what you will do on the day you give to your inner 7 year old?!? You will enjoy a uniquely memorable experience, whatever doings or non-doings he or she invites you to. Hit reply to tell me about YOUR playdate.

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