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A fine backyard garden

Here is another of my Sunday posts. Pondering over other weekend efforts of late a common theme seems to run loosely through them, one of quiet reflection and a sort of vague yearning for something lost in this frenetically modern world we inhabit. I cannot help thinking some form of communal worship, perhaps garbed otherwise than it is today, will one day take shape and capture our minds and more importantly our hearts with its renewed and revitalized poetry and magic.

It is Sunday afternoon. The sun, no longer possessing the warmth of summer, is past the zenith in a perfectly cloudless sky. The apple tree under which I sit has dropped almost all of its fruit but clings stubbornly to its leaves.

Long shadows have spread across the grass and bright hovering fruit flies materialize in unseen shafts of light and then disappear again.

Sunday. Autumn. Fall.

Out front, my son and a few friends play a fanciful hybrid of cops and robbers and Emergency Response using little more than their imaginations, bicycles, a skateboard, and a pair of scooters.

Behind me a screen door creeks open and slams shut. My neighbor calls out from across the fence: “Not watching football this afternoon?” “Nah,” I respond, “it’s been years since I’ve followed the NFL.” “What about hockey, want to join a pool we’ve got going at the pub?” “Nope, I’d just be throwing my money away.”

And this sparks a meandering meditation upon the games we choose to play, as children and as adults.

We as humans have a wonderful, uncanny ability to utterly lose ourselves in Play. For those left standing outside looking in, this absolute and complete immersion in the game can appear idiotic, foolish, and nonsensical. But for those of us on the inside….

Football, hockey, baseball, golf, fishing, bridge, poker, dance, and countless more games can and do serve as metaphors for life. It all depends on how much of ourselves we choose to invest.

However, now I am thinking of another sort of game, the kind we play when partaking of communion in a Roman Catholic mass, or perhaps as we stand at an alter and wait as our bride-to-be is escorted up the aisle by her father. Rituals.

Incidentally, there were no aisles, no escorting when my wife and I were married close to eight years ago now. Just a warm crackling log fire in the fireplace and a few very close friends and a foot of fresh snow lending an enchanted air to the wintry evening outside. I suppose you could say we were creating our own ritual, one that best suited our own individual hearts.

A few posts ago I wrote of Black Elk and how he brought his vision to his people. They enacted the substance of his dream, bringing the energy of the spirit world into the light of day. Just another form of play. The creating of a ritual which harmonizes outside world with an inner, divined one.

The afternoon slides perceptibly toward the dinner hour. My brief spell of repose is done. Day dreaming is another form of recreation, for me at least. My son’s little game is wrapping up and his friends are heading home.

I love playing with the idea of a full and rich life, a full and rich love. This Life of ours’ is the only one we have, so why not play it to the fullest?

It’s a wonderful game, and it’s not whether we win or lose….