Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves then listen close to me. . .
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
I am looking down at my legs this morning, and I don’t recognize them. They are the legs of a four-year-old boy–scraped, bruised, and covered in bug bites. They are legs scarred by landscaping accidents. They are legs that stick out from under a skirt and hope that no one else notices that I came to work with the legs of a preschooler.
Just like my laugh lines, however, I am wearing these scratches and bumps as badges of honor. You see, I acquired them by playing in the garden, by assembling a fence, and by building a farm. They said it couldn’t be done. They said it shouldn’t be done. But I buried the won’ts and the impossibles in the compost heap where they belonged, and I turned my mind and my spirit towards what could be.
And Could Be has introduced me to new hobbies, sustainable practices, and healthy food. Could be has
connected me with creation in a way that is almost indescribable and was certainly unexpected. And Could Be, yes Could Be, has taught me how to play again.
As adults, sometimes we forget how to have child-like fun. We put aside fort building, tree climbing, and rope swinging for work, chores, and technology. “Play” takes on a different meaning for us, if we even include it in our vocabulary at all. The inner child that all the psychologists like to chat about would probably feel a lot better if he/she could get outside for awhile and watch the ants crawl across the pavement or jump in puddles after the rain.
And so I am grateful for Could Be because it means I can live in the adult world, being responsible as a
professional, a parishioner, and a parent, but I can also step outside my front door and play hide ‘n seek with the chickens or sled down my driveway or dance among the tomatoes. Thank goodness that Could Be came along when she did–I don’t know if I could make it through my 40s without play!
So I sit here, getting ready to start a new day, and I look out the window. The sun is streaming through the new coop and bright red fence. Corn and tomatoes are competing for height while watermelons and squash vie for breadth.
I look around for a tree where we can hang a swing. Wouldn’t it be delightful to come home and swing after work? We’ve always wanted a swing, but we’ve been told that there’s not a good spot for one. I get discouraged for a moment, then as I look out on this little farm, I remember anything can be.