Wednesday, February 28

To Play Like a Child Again

I am in a season of anticipation: trying to rest, learning to listen, and waiting on God. Right now I'm feeling like a mass of dots aching to be connected by a smarter crayon.

But today it was nice to take an hour long road trip with my Mama to the Trader Joe's in Old Town Alexandria. I had to show her how small and lovely grocery stores can be.

Last night I tried to talk to God about connecting the dots of my desires. And I felt like he calmed me down by nudging me to "just read a book for fun before bed." Maybe because with all of my overdue projects for Fuller, I've been taking myself way too seriously lately. (He's a good Daddy, he is.)

I grabbed a worn copy of Madeleine L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet, the first of her Crosswicks Journal series. I'd bought it at the public library sale for 50 cents a few months ago because I knew Lisa B. thinks that book 4 in L'Engle's Journal is gorgeous stuff, and I pretty much trust anything Lisa says. Plus, there's that sweet memory of reading Miss Madeleine's A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door as a kid.

If you didn't read Madeleine's A Wrinkle in Time you owe it to yourself to slip back into childhood and read the thing. Last night I was reminded just how carefully she puts words together. I smiled myself to sleep as I read:

"The concentration of a small child at play is analagous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself. He has thrown himself completely into whatever it is that he is doing...His self-consciousness is gone; his consciousness is wholly focused outside himself...

...When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child this is: art: prayer: love."
-A Circle of Quiet, chapter 1


lisa said...

Beautiful, beautiful! Good for you for reading just for fun. Oh don't you get weary of head bending books? I know it's good to keep thinking but OH MY WORD can we turn it off sometimes??

Back to the glorious writing of Ms L'E. God bless her! She is so right about the way a child is outside of herself when she is at play. I watched Heather coming in across the paddock from the barn at my sister's. She didn't know anyone was watching. She had been in her own wonderland where she gets to brush real live ponies. She danced across the little field. REALLY! She would run a couple of steps and then dance a few in any direction, all the while chatting with the numerous dogs that were dancing around her. And so she made her journey back from Wonderland and entered the house looking flushed and bright from the joy of it.

As you trusting anything I say, let me say this: the poetry of A.A. Milne is total brilliance. There is nothing in all the world like poetry that includes the characters of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

jenelle said...

Lisa, I really love that image of Heather dancing across the field, and chatting with the doggies. I love it because I love her, and have often watched little H. and wondered how I'd like to grow up to be more like her.

Ok,ok, dear sage, I will check out the total brilliance of A.A. Milne. As long as you forgive me for still not having read all the Chronicles of Narnia!

lisa said...

Not reading The Chronicles may actually be the unpardonable sin ;-)

cari said...

Yeah, I have a really old copy of The House at Pooh Corner, and read it when I was maybe 12. It was so good, about this group of friends in a lovely wood, and really funny too. It's a good one.