Sunday, 1 January 2012

When do we stop playing?

Whilst running with my dear friend Duncan this evening I retold a story to him of something I witnessed a few weeks ago and it is he who inspired me to write about it...thanks Duncan.

The inspiration
About two weeks ago I was winding my way towards the railway station when I came across a young harassed mother rushing along the road with her two daughters dressed in school clothes. The youngest daughter must have been about 6 years old, the elder was about 8 years old, the former was being pulled along by her Mum and the elder was being shouted at to hurry up as she was dawdling behind.

What happened next was just wonderful to see as the dawdler suddenly stopped spun around twice then ran to a low wall holding up a cornered embankment ran up the wall, arms outstretched to create wings and she ran down the other side shouting "WWWEEEEEEEEEEE" stopped, span around again laughing her little heart out, came too from what imaginary game she was in and ran off to catch her now purpled Mother who was still telling her to catch up.

What happened to us?
This was the question I asked myself and to Duncan today, "Was there a day that we can remember when we last ran along a wall, like a child, with pure innocence of play and internal imagery?" When do we lose the ability to just play and see things in an adult way? When do we start thinking about consequences of our actions? There is a time when your children no longer go into get my point

Duncan and I went quiet.........

What happened earlier in the run (and the year)?
So many wonderful times, so many fantastic moments...all whilst running.........whilst an ADULT

Let me finish this story with something that happened on the Sunday run the week before Christmas.

The week before Christmas
I was running a 12 mile run by myself last week and had just taken a very long up hill ascent to find myself at a road I had run many a time to see a stile I had seen on many occasion and I thought "I am going to go that way" and I saw an animal track, I followed it.....and came to a bench....and stopped and there...below the early dew drenched valley 200 feet below me I saw the trees...casting short shadows in the early morning light....I was the master of all I surveyed...Cudham Valley my Magic Forest and I mastered all I surveyed and for a moment,

I was a child again

and I laughed out loud, like the child I saw at the beginning of this story and now I realise I can play

Promise me, all of you, remember you can play...even as an adult

Happy New Year....My Dear Readers