Okay, I have been busy. That happens when you get an unexpected respite from the usual routine. My older sister came to town and relieved me of my daily duties of fixing meals for Mom who fell and broke a bone and is very slowly recovering. She is ninety and the inactivity is frustrating for her and thus, all of us who love and are taking care of her.
When my sister first called and told me I was ‘off duty’ for a few days, I was both pleased and stunned. Rapidly ran through a mental list of things I could do, things I should do, and some that I might even want to do. Then sort of relaxed, did a deep exhale, and realized I was tired but didn’t want to waste this opportunity by sleeping through it. Decided to do something I have been thinking about for weeks, but thought might take too much time and be too much of a chore to commit myself to under the present circumstances.
For those of you who have been reading this blog, you already know that I have been spending some time coloring. Mandalas to be exact. They fascinate me and do exactly what they are designed to do. Create a space for spiritual growth and healing. Simply put, they soothe the soul because they are a genuine source of natural meditation.
I now have a large number of completed drawings that have been colored and have provided me with a much smoother path through a rather difficult time of transition. So, what to do with all of them? Have had the desire to share the images, but wasn’t quite sure if I was up to the task. When my sister phoned, I suddenly realized what I really wanted to do: create a small Mandala Gallery on one of my sites.
You can find it at http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ It is located on a sub-page that is listed just below the banner which is also one of the Mandalas I have colored. I didn’t actually set out to create the Gallery. Was more curious about how and if it was something I could actually accomplish. Once started, I got completely caught up in the process and spent several hours pouring over the completed designs and deciding which ones I wanted to use.
One of the unexpected things that happened was that I got several new ideas of things I could do with them in the future. New ways of coloring them and even some ideas about backgrounds and framing. Found several I want to redo in different ways and the things I might do to improve them. It was both exciting and relaxing all at the same time. A much needed rest and refueling experience. The best part was that I didn’t have to get up and leave before I finished and also knew I could take whatever time was needed.
Although the practical side of my person wants to use this time to catch up on all those mundane chores I have allowed to slide by me, the child in me is far more interested in recess. No plans, just play. And that has been satisfied in spontaneous ways. Yesterday afternoon, I went rummage saling with both of my sisters. And last night I managed to finish up several birthday gifts, as well as complete reading a mystery novel that seemed to go on forever.
In the midst of all of that activity, I managed to stumble across the answer to a question that has been bothering me for weeks. I would not have done so if I had been doing laundry or washing dishes. It was a very specific answer and I found it laying on a side table at one of those rummage sales. That, in its own way, was as satisfying as putting the Gallery together or finishing the birthday gifts.
Which brings me to today and the rest of my respite. The laundry awaits, as does the stack of dishes. I will willingly and gladly do them both. The child in me has been satisfied and the practical side needs her own time as well. Tomorrow I go back to my new chore oriented schedule. But will take with me a great many new ideas and answers that have a tendency to create new questions.
Do you remember recess time? Do you make room for that in your own busy schedule? Are you aware that we learn far more, and far more quickly, when we allow ourselves to play, rather than turning it into work? Something we have to do and possibly even resent doing?
Going through my completed images, sorting them out and letting them speak to me, one at a time, was a lot like rereading pages from my journal. There are tidbits there that can get lost in the rush to get to the bottom of the page. Priceless pieces of knowledge and information stored right alongside all those mundane things I rushed to get past. Answers I didn’t recognize as such while writing them down, ideas for things I can, and really want, to do but don’t think there is enough time or energy.
Recess was a short break, probably intended for the teacher’s benefit rather than the students’. Yet, those few moments allowed both to rest and refuel for further adventures in the learning process. Do you allow for a few moments of recess on a regular basis? Do you go back and reread a few pages of all that you have written just to see how things have changed, or maybe haven’t? What does the word recess actually mean to you and how important do you think it could or might be? When was the last time you actually let yourself play just to play?