We writers don’t play enough. Neither does anyone over age 50.
My prescription? Locate your nearest park.
Go. Play. Who says these places are Kids Only?
Be sure to bring only one thing: your long-buried child. Let her (or him) climb the playground equipment. Dare to move higher than a foot off the ground (provided senior limbs safely permit such bold moves).
If there’s no park place available—or it’s torn up and unusable—drop and roll.
In your backyard. Even in your den. Mess up your clothes, tangle your hair, step in the mud.
The point? Do what “adults” aren’t supposed to do anymore. Cut loose. P.L.A.Y.
Re-imagine your six-year-old self at the school playground on the first day of class. Before the grounds are messed up with gopher holes, dirt pits, and candy wrappers.
After you’re finished playing, grab paper and pen (or laptop, if you must) and write about your latest recess. Compare it to your most memorable elementary school experience on the playground.
Will yours beat your memory, like mine?
There’s a freedom that comes from adult play, one a child will never understand. It’s freedom gained from knowing what the words—play and freedom—really mean.
The only similarity between old and new?
Neither ever costs us a cent.
How did we forget?